Thinking about selling your house? Planning on having an open house to encourage more buyers to view your property? Most sellers think having an open house is part of the selling process. Whether or not you should have an open house is a decision that should be carefully considered between you and your real estate agent. Like we all know, open houses have got a bad rep over the years and most agents think they are not necessary.
While notwithstanding, open houses can actually be beneficial for the first week, an open house will call the interest of more buyers, get the workout, and will obviously call more agents to visit. If you are going to have an open house, you can start by removing or hiding things that visitors are likely to have an interest in.
Make sure to keep out these things during an open house.
- Your Personal Documents: Let’s begin with the most obvious. Something containing your full name and a bunch of numbers such as a social security card, credit card or a checkbook. Get all these stored in a different location like an office or storage unit. You’ll soon be moving anyway, so those things will have to move with you.
- Pets and their Stuff: Not everyone is a pet lover. Having pets around the place during an open house is absolutely a bad idea. First of all, the pet may not be familiar with the presence of all these strange faces which may highly impact their behavior. What’s next, the responsibility of your pets shouldn’t be in the hands of your real estate agent. Even though you love your dog or cat, always remember how it might impact a stranger walking through the home.
- Prescriptions and Drugs: This needs to be on the top of your list when planning to get an open house. your medicine cabinet or your nightstand will be the first place a thief will visit in search of these. Theft of prescription drugs is becoming a routine across the country.
- Firearms and Guns: Weapons or firearms should be removed from the property. Taking the risk of leaving firearms anywhere around the property is an invitation for disaster. Don’t leave weapons and ammunition out.
- Jewelry: pieces of jewelry should be removed and safely secured! A thief would find it very easy to pick up a piece of jewelry and put it in a pocket never to be seen again. Thieves are highly attracted to locations where jewelries are kept. They are small and can be easily concealed if someone decides to walk out with them. Even if you store jewelries in a small box, be sure to keep it somewhere safe if they are valuable to you.
- Mail Addresses in your Name: What’s so important about mail addresses or other identity documents in your name that shouldn’t be left out in the house during an open house. The last thing you want happening is witnessing a potential going through a bill in the homeowner’s name, checking them out and knowing all about who they are.
- Lap Top Computers, Cell Phones, and Tablets: These devices play a very important role in our lives and living them around during an open house won’t be a good idea. Be sure to get them to safe storage. Consider even cell phone chargers you leave around as they are expensive to replace and easy to pick and put in a pocket. Devices like Tablets and iPads that can be easily picked should be stored and out of sight.
- Space Heaters, Fans and more: Such items that you use for your daily life might unwittingly send out the wrong impression to potential buyers. (Wrong as in “you don’t want to live here” for some reason). Hide the following items before your open house: space heater (implies the house is too cold), multiple fans (the house is too hot), the baseball bat next to your bed (unsafe neighborhood), and even those foam earplugs next to your bed (your home is too loud at night.
- Delicious Food in your Fridge: It’s obvious, no one would come across delicious food and let it pass without having a taste. There have been numerous cases where open house guests go to a refrigerator and help themselves to snacks, cookies, and soda without missing a beat. They always target the quick grab-and-go items. You always have to plan accordingly.
- Political Signs: You never know who’s coming to buy your home, and you need to care so much about their interest. A single political sign might just be a turn-off to some buyers, maybe even a large percentage of buyers in your area.
The most common items stolen during this period as mentioned above are jewelries, watches, and prescription drugs. Removing these items reduce your risk of being a victim. Always remember, open houses are a great way to hasten the sales process. More buyers and agents get to see your home the moment you get it listed on the market.