Are you ready to show your home to potential buyers? You’ll first need to think about whether you’re interested in holding open or private property inspections. Many real estate agents prefer not to hold open for inspections because it may not suit your particular property, or because they don’t fancy spending weekend hours in your home. An open for inspection could present security issues, because it allows any stranger to enter the home.
On the other hand, real estate agents who push for open for inspections may have their own interests at heart rather than your own. Open for inspections provide agents with a valuable opportunity to sign on potential new sellers, and talk to buyers who could be interested in their other listed properties rather than your own. Be sure to find a real estate agent who has your best interests at heart. You can increase your chances of finding the right professional to present your home to buyers by comparing agents at LocalAgentFinder.
Although there may be many factors that go into open for inspections, they certainly do have a number of advantages. To begin with, holding open rather than private inspections reduces the amount of time you must spend showing individual buyers the property. Condensing your showings into a few hours each weekend can save you both time and money. If you decide that this strategy is right for you, it’s best to plan ahead. A few simple preparations can ensure that your open for inspection will be successful, selling your property quickly.
Choose the Right Time for an Inspection
The average amount of time for an open house is usually somewhere in the range of 30-45 minutes. Yet the date you choose can be even more important. You’ll want to time your event to coincide with maximising the amount of buyers who will be able to attend. For example, if you choose a weekday you’ll limit your prospects because few office workers will want to rush off to an inspection after work. Many people spend their Saturday mornings sleeping in, their Saturday evenings going out, and their Sundays relaxing with friends and family. This leaves Saturday afternoon as the ideal time for an inspection.
However, be sure to check the schedule and avoid planning your open house for a public holiday or major sporting event. This will cut down on your attendance. Weather can also play a role in who is able to attend your inspection. It’s best to check the forecast before finalising any details in case of heat waves or downpours.
Preparing for the Open House
After you’ve determined the best date for your event, the next step is to advertise it by placing a sign in front of your house. This will let neighbours and buyers alike know about your impending inspection.
You can then start preparing your home for the inspection by clearing out any clutter or personal items, and taking care of minor repairs. One way to make your property look its best is through professional home staging. You should also remove any items which are not for sale to avoid confusing or even misleading potential buyers.
Marketing materials are good to have on hand for the big day. Talk to your real estate agent about creating brochures to have available. These should include the price and all pertinent details of the home, as well as bright, colourful photos. Special paper can make your brochure stand out from the stack of others that potential buyers will collect during their house hunting process. Many real estate agencies include the cost of these marketing materials in their general fees.
If you have pets at home, it’s best to arrange for a trusted friend or family member to take care of them during the inspection time. Keeping them out of sight will improve your chances of a sale, and avoid alienating buyers who may be put off by the idea of animals or who are allergic to them.
It’s a good idea to speak to your neighbours about leaving your property clear during the inspection. Ask them not to block your property with cars during this time, which will help buyers find easy parking. Before the inspection, give the property a thorough scrub-down from top to bottom, so that buyers turn up to a clean and sparkling house.
Preparations on the Day of Inspection
The morning of your inspection, you’ll want to take care of a few final details to make sure your house is looking its best. Give everything a final once-over to make sure everything’s tidy. You’ll also want to:
- Open windows to air out the property and remove any lingering odours.
- Remove shoes from the entrance to your home to provide a clear entryway.
- Set the temperature settings appropriately. Buyers will feel more comfortable if they can step in from the heat into a cool, air-conditioned environment or into a warm and cosy home in the winter.
- Prepare all paperwork and documentation should any buyer wish to take immediate action.
- Small extras like freshly brewed coffee or scented candles can set a charming mood, but beware of potential spills or accidents.
Safety Issues during Inspections
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, open for inspections can potentially carry some security risk. You are literally opening up the doors to your home to strangers, and you never know who might turn up. Protect yourself from theft or violence with the following precautions:
- Store your valuables elsewhere during the inspection, to allow attendees full access.
- Don’t host your inspection alone. Make sure you have at least two other people with you during the event, to help watch visitors and help you in a crisis.
- Ask visitors to sign in and show ID as they enter the home. This can also be used to collect contact information for follow-up after the inspection.
- Keep curtains open during the inspection so that the interior is visible from the street.
- Only allow one point of entry, to keep track of everyone who enters and exits the premises.
- Don’t cater to stragglers. If anyone comes in outside of the specified open house time, ask them to come back during the next arranged viewing. Even with an open house, you are not obligated to allow strangers into your home. If you feel uneasy at all, trust your gut and avoid the risk.
Reduce the risk by having a real estate agent there to help you. It will not only provide you with extra security, but can help you make the most of this time to make contact with buyers. There are thousands of agents registered at LocalAgentFinder Australia-wide. Find out how it works and start searching for the right agent to help you during this important time.
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