Last-Minute Tips for a Successful Open House

Realtor Deb Staley has seen it a million times. She pulls up to an open house at a fabulous property, in a great neighborhood, at the right price, only to find an overgrown lawn, a leaf-strewn front porch and a front door covered in spiderwebs. In fact, it's not uncommon for potential buyers to be so turned off by an initial view that they refuse to even exit the car. "I have been a real estate broker for 22 years, and I am still amazed every time I show a house that is not ready for the market," says Staley, who's based in Searcy, Ark.
We never get a second chance to make a first impression, and for motivated sellers a first impression of their home can often make or break a deal. Realtors know that a potential sale starts in the moment that a buyer pulls into the driveway. That's why they take extra care to prep and ready the homes they represent just prior to an open house -- and we mean minutes before.

Whether you're helping out your Realtor or handling the sale yourself, here's how to make the most of an open house.