Common Open House Mistakes Seattle Sellers Make

Common Open House Mistakes Seattle Sellers Make

Published | Written by Sarah McCormick

Common Open House Mistakes Seattle Sellers Make

Published by on Feb 8, 2022 6:30:00 AM

Some open house mistakes Seattle sellers make come from inexperience, and others from a lack of professional help. Whatever the reason, know that these mistakes can be avoided. Seattle's seller's market demands an utter commitment to the process of selling a house. So, what can you do differently?


1 | Not partnering up with a knowledgeable real estate agent
The first and most significant error sellers plunge into is embarking on a home-selling voyage alone. If this is your first time selling a house, having an experienced agent by your side can make an huge impact. As a seller without an agent, you'd need to think about the listing price, inspection, listing photos, staging, administrative work, and be well acquainted with legal aspects of the sale.

On top of that, if you didn't have an agent, you'd need to deal with buyers, often on a daily basis. Seattle's real estate market certainly does not lack demand, and you'd likely be overwhelmed with calls and inquiries about showings. Are your presentation and negotiation skills up to par? Do you have enough time to prepare and attend the showing? If your honest answer is no, that is ok! There are agents with years of experience ready to lend a hand.

2 | Not knowing the market
If you're confident that you don't need a real estate agent, invest the time and effort to research the local market thoroughly as it strongly influences your listing price. Knowing how your property compares to others of the same type and size in the area is key.

Checking out other listings will provide valuable insight into what home elements you might want to improve to be more competitive during an open house. Perhaps your home has great potential to stand out, but you'll never find out unless you research your local market well. And remember that an open house is a great opportunity to impress the buyers after they come enticed by your listing photos.

3 | Failing to prepare the home for sale
Failing to prepare your home for sale tops the ranks of the worst open house mistakes Seattle sellers make. Preparation efforts don't include only cosmetic upgrades. Upon results of the seller pre-inspection, fix all the significant issues you discover. Once your buyers arrive, they will start scanning your Seattle home, searching for imperfections. You can't blame them; even the most minor faults are ground for price negotiation.

One of the biggest mistakes during an open house is hiding these imperfections. Serious buyers know what they want and will easily expose your camouflage. In the end, it doesn't pay off to cover old floors with carpets, quickly paint water-damaged walls, and cover pet odor with air freshener. Perhaps your photographing skills can make your home look luxurious, but there's only so much you can mask during an open house.

4 | Overlooking home staging
Leaving the best possible first impression during an open house will significantly influence the further course of negotiation with the buyer. If it makes sense to stage your home toward this goal, your real estate agent will let you know. Sometimes, simple decluttering and deep cleaning will do the job. Other times, you might need to do serious landscaping or store the excess furniture you've accumulated over the years. In the latter case, the home will look bigger, less personal, and allow the buyers to imagine themselves living there.

To store your items during an open house, you will need storage space, packing materials, and someone to move your packed belongings. There is a solution to your needs, and it lies in a reputable storage and moving company. In general, don't hesitate to partner with professionals in every phase of the home selling process. When specialists handle it, you can rest assured that your home will sell quickly and get photographed, cleaned, staged, packed, and moved safely and efficiently.

5 | Not using adequate listing photos
Preparation for listing your home for sale and hosting an open house involves taking quality listing photos. The closer your photos represent the home in reality, the higher the chance of a successful open house. Poor quality photos, misleading images, and an insufficient number of shots will not deliver anticipated publicity at best. Buyers will assume the seller is hiding weak spots, and they will most likely guess right. At worst, they will deter the few curious visitors during an open house.

Your top priority is to have as many potential buyers visiting your home as possible. The more people are satisfied with photo vs. reality, the better your negotiation position. In a seller's market such as Seattle's, your home may even attract enthusiastic bidders.

6 | Being dishonest with potential buyers
Ideally, the seller shouldn't attend the open house, it would be best to have an agent host it on your behalf. The best chance of having a successful open house is to afford your buyers an easygoing, detailed, and honest tour. Have all the answers ready, even to the uncomfortable questions. 

In other words, if you haven't been listing the correct square footage, it will easily show during an open house. Avoid uncomfortable situations by being frank and unbiased from the begging. Although the buyer will know that the agent represents the seller, aka you, they will appreciate their professional attitude and perspective.

A couple of last notes
If you want to avoid open house mistakes Seattle sellers make daily, you will approach the home selling process with attention to detail. Unless you rely on a real estate agent to guide you from the start, prepare to oversee every aspect of the process. It starts with inspection and repairs, followed by advertising and staging, and concludes with a relaxing, informative, and unassuming tour of your Seattle home.

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