An open house is an exciting event whether you are a seller or a buyer. If you are selling, an open house is the chance for you to showcase your property to prospective buyers, and hopefully close a sale. If you’re a buyer, you are searching for a property that you can inspect, with the aim of finding a home that you can call your own.
While it seems like all you have to do is open your house and someone will buy, the fact is you need to have a little preparation if you want to ensure the best deal.
Here are tips to help you prepare before setting an open house inspection – from the perspectives of both the buyer and the seller.
How to prepare for open home inspections as a buyer
When you attend an open inspection, it’s easy to make yourself believe that the first home you inspect will be perfect or if not, you’d just go with your gut feeling. But if you are going to open homes with the aim of purchasing, you have to research the property so you have all the information you need before deciding to make an offer.
Here are three things you should consider when attending open homes:
Research the surroundings – Find out what services are close by. Knowing the neighbourhood and the properties proximity to schools, shops, cafes, parks, beaches, hospitals, sporting fields and complexes along with major shopping centres and even off the lead dog parks can add value to the property you’re looking at. Not knowing this while your competition does may result in loosing out to another buyer.
Ask questions about the property – finding out the history of the building can help you make your decision. As they say, knowledge is power and being informed about any repairs or renovations the property may have been subjected to could either highlight some negatives or help you to discover some positives like not having to spend any more money on the home for the next 10 years. Finding out if the pipes, roof, electrical systems, plumbing, pool equipment or windows have been replaced recently could mean that you make a higher offer and secure the property.
Do some research to find out when the home hit the market – If the property has only been open for inspection for a short period of time, it could mean that many buyers are competing and you may need to make an attractive offer to advance in further negotiations.
How to prepare for open home inspections as a seller
What is an open house for sellers? This is your moment to put your property on display. On inspection day, your home needs to stun potential buyers and make them eager about the possibility of living in your home.
You want to give buyers all the reasons to buy and no reason not to. This means you have to get your home ready to sell fast – and for the highest possible price.
If you are preparing for open inspections, here are some things to include in your home inspection checklist:
Use space efficiently – The most important step in preparing your home for open inspection is decluttering. A tidy, uncluttered house appears larger, which creates a major difference when selling your house. Generally, you should remove at least half of your furniture (keep it somewhere else.)
Fix any maintenance issues – People are turned off by properties that look like it has been neglected. Additionally, if buyers think your property needs major repairs, they might request that you shoulder the expense. Repair leaky faucets, cracked tiles or damaged windows, and replace all the old light fixtures and or broken switches. You should also consider applying a fresh coat of paint as it makes your property look new and well-cared for.
Allow natural light – Buyers are turned off by a dark home, so ensure your home is taking advantage of the available natural light. Get rid or pull back superfluous window blinds, drapes or curtains. You can also install warm tone light bulbs and spot lamps to brighten a space.
Open Inspection in the Time of Covid-19
For us property managers and real estate agents, the health and safety of our clients are of utmost importance. In line with this, we have modified and updated our approach to meet the criteria of a safe place as defined by health authorities.
The process of open inspections during Covid-19 now includes:
Property managers and real estate agents are now working from home, and only attend home appraisal appointments, or to meet the clients, and oversee open homes or auctions. Buyers and sellers now have the option to communicate virtually with their agents or property managers over electronic devices for any property services they may need.
- Most agents are now offering virtual open houses to vendors. These virtual walk-through technologies are secure and help agents generate offers as buyers are required to sign into the virtual open home in the manner that is the same for a physical one.
- Clients who feel sick, or have gone to any high-risk areas are requested not to attend open homes for 14 days and instead call their agents for any enquiries they many have.
- Clients will also be asked if they have travelled overseas in the past two weeks if they are going to homes for appraisals, or managing open home inspections.