Make a good first impression.
You want to freshen up the landscaping and exterior paint, plus consider purchasing a few new items, including a garage door, mailbox, exterior door, and house numbers. Clean the driveway and walkways, and get the cars out of the driveway and from in front of the house.
Clean, clean, clean.
The property must be in pristine condition so your agent can hold open houses.
Get rid of clutter.
If the house has too many pieces of furniture and knick knacks it is hard for potential buyers to see the home's features. Sellers should start packing before the house goes on the market, making the home as sparse and streamlined as possible.
Remove personal items.
Homebuyers want to walk into the house and visualize it as their home. When a potential buyer sees family photos and other personal items it is more difficult.
Remove pets if possible.
Dogs, cats or other pets should neither be seen nor heard during open houses or showings. If they can't be removed from the house, they need to be confined to a less trafficked space.
Spread the word.
Inform family, friends, and colleagues that you are planning to sell your home before it goes on the market so they can spread the word. Make sure your agent advertises the home and lists the open house on the multiple listing service as well as on all the major real estate portals. Send flyers to neighbours and share the information with friends via email and social media.
Let there be light.
Before showings and open houses open all the curtains and blinds and turn on lights in every room. Make the home as bright and cheerful as you can.
Protect your belongings.
Remove or lock up any valuables for your home goes on the market. Agents cannot be in every room at once during showings with every prospective buyer, so be smart about what you leave out.
You or your agent should provide information for prospective buyers to take with them, including a brochure or flyer with photos of the house, information on comparable home sales, and perhaps school or community information. Get a local lender to provide information on payments with a few loan scenarios. You do not want homebuyers to leave your home empty-handed.
Stay in the background.
If a real estate agent is conducting an open house or showing, the sellers should not be present.
Listen to feedback.
One valuable takeaway from an open house is being able to hear what people think about the price and features. If six neighbours think the home is overpriced, it probably is. Collect names and contact information from everyone who visits and contact them afterward to see what they thought of the house.