DISCLAIMER ~ This post is sponsored by the Real Estate Council of Ontario. All opinions are my own. I only share content that excites me and I feel would be beneficial to Canadian Moms. If you are moving in the near future, having an Open House is inevitable. Planning for an Open House can be stressful. Planning for an Open House with children involved is even more challenging.
Run for the HILLS and FAST
… once your home is all ready and organized for an Open House. This is our number one tip! Why? Because we all know how quickly kids can make a mess. Right?
The biggest concern for many people when it comes to Open Houses, is privacy and security. Remember to talk over any concerns with your sales person. When you choose a sales person that you feel is a good fit for you, your concerns will be listened to and you will likely feel more at ease.
When you talk to your salesperson, ask how they will run the open house. It’s a best practice to have a salesperson accompany visitors at all times when they tour your home. You could also request that a second salesperson help out by greeting visitors at the door, and asking visitors to first provide identification and contact information, and then wait in the hallway until your primary representative is available to show them around.
You can also consider the following suggestions for your Open House:
- Make a list of any items with sentimental or monetary value and then either remove them from the house or lock them in a secure location. These items may include personal photos, jewelry, silverware, antiques, portable electronics, prescription medications and other valuables. Hiding them will not guarantee their safety.
- Protect yourself from identity theft by removing any paperwork with financial information or your name. One thing to consider is putting password protection on any electronic devices that you will leave behind (like desktop computers).
- Consider the safety of your visitors by ensuring that walkways are shoveled and communicating ahead of time with your salesperson about any potential hazards.
Speaking of hazards – when you have young children, toys are a HUGE concern for Open Houses. As a parent, I KNOW first hand how much it hurts to step on random, unexpected Lego bits. One strategy (if it is possible) is to be the last person to leave. This means the rest of the family is waiting for you outside or in the car. Your job as the last person in the house is to do a quick and final walk through to ensure that everything is in order.
The other thing you can do when you have children is to give them each a job before you leave the house. Depending on their age, this can help them understand how much work is involved in preparation for an Open House. The intention here is that they will create less of a mess in between each Open House.
If your Open House is scheduled after a meal time, you might consider going out for that meal (or even take a picnic, weather pending of course). This means one less area of the home to clean last minute. Meal time with kids can be a very messy endeavour! While it may not save your wallet, it will definitely save on stress and mess.
For more tips about buying or selling a home, check out www.reco.on.ca/family.