Dos and Don'ts of Open Houses in San Jose: Make Lasting Impressions

 Dos and Don'ts of Open Houses in San Jose: Making Lasting Impressions

Photo via Canva

The open house is a vital bridge between a potential buyer and the keys to their new home. 

Most of the time, San Jose open houses are mandatory steps that sellers must prepare for. Some first-timers might not be clear on what to expect. What level of cleanliness should the home be? Will the potential buyers be testing appliances and other features of the home? How long does an open house last?

These are valid and necessary questions to have. Once you know how to have an open house, you’ll breeze through this step of your real estate transaction. 

Before we go over the major dos and don’ts of open houses, we’ll cover the basics. 

A well-manicured frontage of a property - photo via Canva

Open Houses Explained and Common Questions Answered

Listings and marketing are designed to capture interest, but an open house secures it. 

With your realtor, an open house is a set time to show off the property for sale. After viewing photos or virtual tours, buyers need a more hands-on and close-up view. They discover local open houses in several ways, like the various marketing methods your real estate agent will utilize. 

As a soon-to-be-savvy home seller, you want to cover all of your bases and the open house will go off without any issue. You might even receive an offer during the open house if all goes well.  

Most property owners correctly choose Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for open houses, as prospective buyers have more free time.

Most open houses last up to four hours but could be closer to two hours. There is no strict rule. Sometimes, realtors set shorter open houses for a psychological advantage. A shorter window implies that the property owner is confident and believes they don’t need the extra time.

Your property condition and features are unique, as is your open house. You’ve heard the broad strokes now, but if you need to discuss specifics, reach out to one of our team members. 

Some realtors may recommend removing the white blankets from this living room - photo via Canva

5 Dos for Open Houses in San Jose

Do #1: Create a pleasant experience for buyers.

San Jose open houses are your chance to lock in your buyer’s interest. You’ll only achieve that goal if you create a lasting and pleasant impression. This starts at the curb and must be sustained throughout the home. If you’re unsure of the kind of experience you need to create for buyers, you could ask us directly or read our open house guide.

Do #2: Make your home the focus, not the decorations.

Some homeowners might wrongly think that jazzing up their home’s interior creates a feeling of value. Actually, this comes off the wrong way to potential buyers and creates disadvantages. Distracting decor can make the home feel lived in, so you want to minimalize and declutter as much as possible. Think of a lightly-furnished hotel suite, rather than someone’s personalized Airbnb.

Do #3: Remove pets and heavy odors.

The smells left behind from pets or anything noxious will give potential buyers second thoughts. Depending on how persistent and strong they are, these unwanted scents can mar the entire open house experience for buyers. Even something you assume smells nice, like a vanilla room spray, lemongrass candle, or incense could be unwanted - even if you like the aroma. In the end, your home should smell clean, fresh, and not overly perfumed. 

Do #4: Ask your agent about their marketing plan for your home.

Any experienced realtor will be happy to share their marketing strategy and methods with you. Leading up to the open house, you’ll want to know how your agent builds interest in the listing. Post-open house, they’ll also have a marketing plan, which involves follow-ups with interested attendees.

Do #5: Follow an experienced realtor’s tips for preparing your open house.

Our realtors buy and sell homes all across Santa Clara County, which is a competitive seller’s market. If you’ve never prepared and executed an open house here, turn to those who have. Local realtors know the kinds of buyers that your home will attract and knows the open house that matches their taste. 

Depersonalized, clean, and well-lit  - photo via Canva

5 Don’ts for Open Houses in San Jose

If you’re finding out how to host an open house in San Jose, you should know about 5 things to avoid doing.

Don’t #1:  Avoid attending the open house yourself.

As positive as your intentions may be, attending your own open house is a bad idea. The entire open house is aimed at showing buyers a clean slate, with no reminders of previous ownership. Your presence may seem harmless, but it works against the depersonalization that makes an open house successful.  

Don’t #2: Never hide issues or repairs.

Covering up problems wastes time, creates liabilities, and causes expenses for everyone involved. Before an open house, ideally, your home has already had an inspection and issues have been fixed. We’ve already written about this topic extensively. Home inspections aren’t always expensive, but they can save much larger amounts of money (and time). 

Don’t #3: Overlook the curb appeal of your home.

Before buyers cross the threshold, they’ll arrive at the front of your property. For a moment, think about how you feel when you’ve arrived at restaurants or businesses and felt let down by their appearance. It doesn’t exactly fill you with optimism and interest, does it? You want to present a manicured and neat front garden (if the property has one), as plus an inviting walkway to the front door. 

Don’t #4: Try not to leave personal touches.

At the curb and through each room, remove personal items as much as possible. In an open house, you must present a fresh start to the potential buyers. This means storing your picture frames and other personal items. Dial down the amount of house plants, art, and anything eccentric or overly decorative. 

Don’t #5: Never obstruct or block areas of the home.

Potential buyers won’t be happy if they can’t explore the entire home. At best, this will delay the process of receiving offers and closing the real estate transaction. At worst, closing off access to some areas of your open house home could drive away interest. 

Remember that open houses are about tangible aspects of your home, as well as perceptions. Yes, prospective buyers will be able to test appliances and tour the property, but there’s a mental aspect too. We’ll walk you through the entire process, which we’ve seen through to completion countless times. 

More Questions? Follow-up With Us!

If you have more questions about what to expect from the markets around the Bay Area, don’t be afraid to reach out to us today. Our experts are experienced in all property types and the entire San Francisco Bay Area, and we can help you to find what you need to know today.

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