Having an Open House can be good tool for a real estate agent as a way to market your home to several people at one time. Having an Open House doesn't guarantee a quick sale, but, the more people who see your home, the better the chances of it getting sold. With that in mind, there are a few things as a seller you need to do to make sure your home is a safe place for others as well as safe for your belongings and your family.
Clean It Out - Of course before you have an Open House you want your home to be nice and clean! However, take some extra time and remove pictures of your family, especially your children. First, this lets the buyers see themselves and their families in your home and secondly, this helps to protect your children and family from a stranger's eyes.
Put It Up - Don't leave important information laying around in an office or any other room. Tax documents and checkbooks are not good items to have where others can see them. This can be said for family calendars, too. No one needs to know you or your family's business. Also, make sure you have your animals put up or even better taken out of the home. Some people may have allergies, or be terrified of some pets. Not to mention, you want your pets to be safe as well. Put up prescription drugs and other valuable items you want to keep out of reach. Another thing is to be sure where people walk outside and in, that it is free from any debris that can cause someone to trip and fall.
Lock It Up - If you have any type of weapons on display, please lock them up out of sight if possible. I realize in Southern Indiana we have a lot of people who have gun cases, so moving a big piece of furniture might be out of the question, but, please make sure the contents are safe (no bullets and guns in the same place) and that everything that can be dangerous is behind lock and key or removed from the premises. Not only are these items highly valuable, it's always better to be safe than sorry!
Sniff It Out - Finally, after you have cleaned up, removed precious items and hidden others, take a "sniff test" in your home. Go outside for about 5 - 10 minutes, then walk back in (through the smelliest area if possible) and see if you notice any odors. This will give you a "first impression" of your home. Take care of the bad odors without adding a lot of other smells. Cleaning up whatever is smelly or simply opening a few windows might just do the trick.
Your home and it's contents is precious to you. Do your best to show it off and keep it safe for everyone at the same time. You will be glad you did!
Jen Lush--Associate Broker and Managing Broker's Mother