8 tips for a successful open house

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When it comes to having an open house, it helps to know a few tricks of the real estate trade. I’m Clark Palmer with your Bankrate.com personal finance minute.

First, make sure that your agent uses the latest technology to market your house, including advertising your open house on websites such as Realtor.com, Trulia.com and Zillow.com. Realtor.com even has a free real estate app for consumers.

If your home contains anything that could be considered the least bit controversial, take it down. Some agents even advise getting rid of family photos and personal items. A blank slate can help potential buyers picture themselves in the house. That’s also why, if you have an agent, you shouldn’t be there.

And set a few ground rules before the big day. For instance, everyone needs to sign in and show a driver’s license. Also, no one uses the bathroom.

Be sure to secure your valuables, including prescription drugs. Lock up things like cash, jewelry, liquor and valuable tchotchkes.

Finally, consider having the open house from three to five pm. You’ll have less competition and draw attention to your house.

For more home-selling tips, visit Bankrate.com. I’m Clark Palmer.