real estate

8 tips for a successful open house

Be absent
7 of 10

If you have an agent, there's no reason for you to attend your own open house. So grab the pets and get out of the way. Buyers need to picture themselves in the house. That's more difficult if you're around.

"Very rarely does it work out for the buyers and sellers to meet in advance," Pratt says. And from a practical standpoint, "when buyers are walking through an open house, they want some anonymity. And with the homeowners there, they can't speak freely. And they can't speak to each other."

Collect all your pets' ancillary items, such as food bowls and litter boxes. And if you can't take the items with you, make sure they are pristine, Pratt says. While showing a 6,000-square-foot house, a soiled litter box in an out-of-the-way corner of a distant spare room caused one pair of potential buyers to write off an otherwise spotless house because it "smelled like cat pee," she recalls.




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