Selling a house in NELA might seem a breeze, given its increasing popularity with Millennial buyers. But a messy house makes for a lousy open house.
In the online age, it’s remarkable how often open houses continue to be used by home seller’s agents to find buyers. A 2015 survey by the National Association of Realtors, “Profile of the Home Buyers and Sellers,” found that 48% of buyers used open houses as a source of information in their home search. That is no less true in the neighborhoods of Hermon or Garvanza as anywhere else in Northeast LA (NELA).
Unfortunately, there are many wrong ways to conduct an open house. In many ways, they are like a first interview for a job: you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Even if your home appreciates the hip reputation of Eagle Rock or the quality of schools in Mt. Washington, there should be no unforced errors in this process. So a checklist of what to do and not do should help.
While these rules apply in general to marketing a home, not only open houses, they take on extra meaning if you expect five, ten or more prospective buyers all in one afternoon:
1) The whole house is open, inside and out – No one will consider buying a home if there is a room, or a basement, cordoned off with closed doors. You need to make sure everything in every place is ready for showing. The same goes for garages and the land outside. Curb appeal (the front of the house) is important, but the sides and back yard or garden will also be more appealing if it appears the current owners are neat and take care of their entire property.
2) You, your family and your pets are not invited – Alas, everyone but you are welcome. If the owner were present at the open house it would change the dynamic entirely. The prospective buyer will try to be polite but fail to ask questions on their mind. They may spend less time looking at kitchen or bathroom features so as to not appear to be nosy – when in fact nosiness is an important and respectable skill in house hunting. (Consider it an excuse to hang out in one of the great new coffee shops in Glassell Park or Highland Park if you don’t have anywhere else to go.)
3) Get it to neutral – The buyer does not care about your politics, your religion, your family, or your preference for chartreuse bedroom walls. The more de-personalized and de-cluttered a home, the more likely the color palette ranges from off-white to grey to greyish blue to greyish tan, the easier it is for the would-be buyer to picture easily moving into the house.
4) A little something extra – In New Orleans this is called a lagniappe, “a little something given as a gift.” Depending on what your selling agent recommends (see next item), some cookies, a list of neighborhood attractions and amenities or a rosebud from the garden (if you have one) can set your home apart from the other four those buyers are seeing that day.
5) Listen to your Realtor – This is their business. If they are any good, they know how to do it. Make your agent earn her or his commission by providing you other golden advice on how to have a successful, productive open house.
Tracy King has worked in Northeast Los Angeles as a licensed Realtor for a quarter century, turning houses for sale into houses sold. Contact her to discuss her top open house techniques.
With over 30 years experience in helping clients buy and sell homes in Northeast Los Angeles, Tracy King has a depth of real estate knowledge that makes her the go-to for both the first-time home buyer and the seasoned real estate investor. When she's not holding open houses or negotiating offers, Tracy enjoys wine tasting, cooking, or planning her next trip to Paris. If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Northeast Los Angeles, contact the Tracy King Team at 626.827.9795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.