Seven open house mistakes to avoid

By Diana Dietz | June 17, 2014 | 2 min. read

A clean and organized home is vital to hosting a successful open house, however, many sellers overlook this aspect of preparation.

USA Today describes common open house mistakes that could be a turn-off to potential buyers. Among some of the common mistakes it notes:

1. Half-baked staging: “If you’re going to professionally stage your house, stage the whole house or at least one entire floor,” said USA Today. Maureen Reddy, a professional stager and owner of DaVinci Designer Gallery in Winthrop, Mass., says it can be jarring to see two elegantly designed rooms followed by an empty dining room or den.

2. Music: “At best it is distracting,” says Rona Fischman, owner of 4 Buyers Real Estate in Somerville, Mass. “At worst, buyers will get suspicious that there is more road noise or mechanical noise or neighbor noise that you are covering up.”

3. Lack of information: Buyers should be able to pick up information to take with them. If buyers don’t have anything to take with them, the house can become forgettable. Always have plenty of copies of information.

4. Strong smells: Avoid heavy air fresheners and fragrances of cleaning products like bleach, which can be a distraction. “You only get one opportunity to make a first impression and if the impression is an overwhelming smell, you lose,” says Fischman. “Whether it’s cookies or disinfectant, if it is noticeable, and not merely background, buyers will notice.”

5. Left-out valuables: Sellers should lock up their jewelry, prescription medications, and any valuables prior to the open house. “Besides losing something precious, you could also poison the deal with needless suspicion when something goes missing and everyone is suddenly is a suspect,” Fischman said.

6. The wrong temperature: Keep the house comfortable — warm but not hot in the winter and cool but not cold in the summer.

7. Pets: Letting pets hang around on open house day could prove costly. Remove all signs of animal friends including litter boxes – a number one turnoff for sellers, agents advise.

See more open house turn-offs at USA Today.

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