Is an open house really worth the effort, and will it really help you sell your home? Answers vary among real estate professionals, but they generally agree that it can’t hurt. But in certain markets and under specific conditions, an open house can definitely help you get a better sale price. For example, in the highly competitive San Francisco market, those people who held an open house sold their homes (on average) for 6% more than those who didn’t. So, since you might as well give it a try, here are 4 ideas for a springtime open house in Chicago.
1. Schedule at the Right Time
Timing can be critical for an open house and can mean the difference between disappointing failure and a resounding success. So be sure to schedule at the right time.
In most places, Sunday afternoon is the best time to hold an open house. People are off work, they’re relaxed, and they have the time to really look at your home. But also make sure that you Sunday-afternoon open house doesn’t conflict with any holidays or big events like Easter or Super Bowl Sunday. And don’t forget to check the weather forecast because rain and storms are always a threat in the spring and will keep visitors away.
2. Clean and Brighten at the Right Time
An important one of our ideas for a springtime open house in Chicago is cleaning at the right time, not too early and not too late. Two to three days before the scheduled open house is the best time to begin your thorough, top-to-bottom cleaning. This will allow you enough time to get it all done, and there also won’t be enough time after completion for the house to get dirty again.
Your cleaning and sprucing up should also include “whitening” the bathroom. The idea is to make the bathroom look fresh, clean, and new. You may not be able to install new white vanities and tops, but you can put up a white shower curtain, put down white mats, and set out white towels.
3. Let in the Light
You know you need to clean the windows to prepare for your open house. You may, however, not be aware that staging professionals advise taking down drapes and curtains to let more light in because light, they claim, is what sells. You can leave the sheers up, but do take down those heavy drapes.
You should also remove the blinds from windows. Even if the blinds are down and in the open position, it can still reduce the amount of natural light entering over the course of a day by 50%. Cleaning window can be a pretty big chore, so don’t leave anything up to darken your hard work.
4. Make it Inviting
As the final one of our ideas for a springtime open house in Chicago, we suggest making everything as inviting as possible and playing the gracious host/hostess a little bit. You could, for example, set out baked goods or other treats, as well as colorful feedback cards, to give the impression that you’re truly interested in the comfort and satisfaction of your viewers. You might also place attractive flower arrangements in strategic places throughout the house.
It is true that spring is the best time to sell a house and that in many areas it’s still a seller’s market. But it never hurts to do everything you can to increase your chances of a quicker sale at a better price. So give these ideas for a springtime open house in Chicago a try, and see how it goes.