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Even with the growth of the internet and online listing services, there’s no substitution for an open house when selling a home. It offers prospective buyers an up close and personal view of the home. To increase their chances of a successful sale, though, sellers should avoid making the following five mistakes when hosting an open house.


#1) Inadequate Lighting

Lighting, both indoor and outdoor, plays an important role in enhancing a home’s aesthetics and lifting the overall mood. Unfortunately, many sellers neglect to use adequate lighting when hosting an open house, resulting in a dim and poorly lit environment that discourages prospective buyers from pursuing the property.


#2) Restricting Access to Rooms

Closing off and restricting access to rooms prevents prospective buyers from seeing the entire home and what it offers. When a prospective buyer sees a room blocked off with boxes or a “Do not enter” sign, he or she may question what’s in the room, believing it’s poorly designed or suffers from structural problems.


#3) Allowing Fido to Roam Free

With more than one-third of U.S. households owning a dog, some sellers assume it’s okay to allow their canine companion to roam during an open house. Whether it’s a Chihuahua or a Great Dane, though, dogs can distract prospective buyers by barking, growling or even playing. When this occurs, prospective buyers aren’t able to focus on the home and its features.


#4) Too Much Personalization

Over-personalization is another common mistake sellers make when hosting an open house. If an entire wall is dedicated to family photos, for example, it prevents prospective buyers from picturing themselves in the home. There’s nothing wrong with using a few family photos, but sellers should keep these and other personal effects to a minimum when hosting an open house.


#5) Not Staging

Staging is arguably one of the most important steps in preparing a home to sell on the market. According to a study of 89 residential properties conducted by the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA), staged homes sell 87 percent faster than non-staged homes. Therefore, sellers should stage their home with the right colors and furnishings so that it’s more appealing to prospective buyers.

Avoiding these open house mistakes will help sellers find a buyer more quickly.