In today's technology-centric world, the idea of hosting an open house to help find a buyer for your home may seem antiquated. As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, however, I have learned from experience that an open house -- when done correctly -- can go a long way toward getting your home sold quickly for an optimal price.

Why? Because while technology is integral to marketing your home, no video or virtual tour will ever compare to viewing a home in person. That's why it's essential to focus on the very tangible assets of your home during an open house -- the things that will connect with a potential buyer's senses. Work with your real estate agent to make sure you emphasize the following areas of your home so that open house visitors can connect in a very visceral way:

  • Fragrance - Move beyond the played-out strategy of baking cookies in the oven and instead, seek to emphasize potential natural fragrances associated with your home. Have your open house while your magnolia tree, hyacinths, lilacs or rose bushes are in bloom. Make sure your lawn is freshly mowed. Open windows to let in sea or lake breezes. Arrange some freshly cut pine branches from a tree in your yard decoratively in a vase. Make sure your hardwood floors are cleaned and polished. All of these are subtle, yet powerful, scents associated with the true meaning of home.
  • Warmth - Nothing says home better than a room basking in sunlight. Make sure curtains are pulled aside and blinds raised to let natural sunlight bathe key rooms in the home. Take advantage of a home's wood stove or fireplace when appropriate.
  • Touch - Open house visitors will open all sorts of doors, cabinets and drawers and come in contact with banisters and window frames. Make sure all metal substances, like brass door knobs, and wood finishes, such as your master staircase, are brilliantly polished, clean and smooth to the touch.
  • Sound - Every home has certain sounds associated with it -- good and bad. Take advantage of any natural water nearby by keeping a strategic window or two open, or install indoor and/or outdoor fountains. Hang a bird feeder in close proximity to an open kitchen window. If you own a grandfather or cuckoo clock, make sure it's wound. Conversely, unplug any electronics that might make disturbing humming or beeping noises, and close any windows that let in displeasing street noise.
  • Sight - While odds are most visitors have already seen your home online, nothing compares to this in-person visit. Inspect your house from all angles, starting at the front curb or driveway, all the way through to the basement, attic, and back door. Make sure your home looks its best from every angle -- even inside closets and cupboards. As you can imagine, less is more. Clean out the excess and arrange subtle vignettes that help visitors envision themselves living life in the various nooks and crannies of the home.

Thanks to technology, we can narrow down who is truly interested in our home prior to an open house. But make sure your open house grabs potential buyers on a deeper level than what they can experience online. For more ideas, please e-mail me, and feel free to pass these tips on to others who might be interested in selling their home.

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