How to manage wet weather when you're having an open house
Weather is unpredictable, and if your home is on the market then the odds are about even that at least one of your open house inspections will be held when it's pouring outside.
No matter what time of year, people will always be looking to buy and sell property. Regardless of the weather, people still want to - and need to - purchase property. While the rain may keep some people away, it's best to look at it this way: those who do come to see your home, despite the weather, are pretty serious about the possibility of purchasing it.
Plus, the weather can be a fantastic way to showcase exactly how good your property really is. If you have an open fireplace, having it on while people walk through is a great way to show that it's in working condition. It also gives viewers that warm, fuzzy feeling associated with winter days sitting by the fireplace with a good book.
It also means that potential buyers will see that your home is in working form. The gutters are holding up to the rain, and there are no leaks through the doors, windows or roof.
Here are some handy tips on how to make sure your property is appealing despite the rain outside, and what to do to protect everything inside from muddy feet and the wet weather.
Turn on the lights
A well lit home is always much more appealing than a dark one. Even if you have plenty of natural light coming through the windows, having the lights on gives the home a sense of warmth, especially if it's wet and foggy outside. Make sure you leave the lights on outside as well.
Warmth is key
If it's cold outside, ensure your space is warm and inviting so that people want to come inside. Pop the heating on for a bit before the inspection time starts so your house feels cosy and welcoming. But remember to turn it off before people arrive, and don't go overboard. There may be quite a few people coming through your property and lots of people means lots of bodies - which means it can get a bit stuffy. The balance is exceptionally important.
Again, balance is key. If the rain doesn't come into the house, make sure you leave a couple of windows, as well as the main door to the outside, open. Closed windows and doors can cause odours to mill about, especially if you have a pet.
Invest in a good, high-absorption door mat outside and consider a thin rug inside the door as well. This means there are two spots for potential buyers to wipe their feet, and it will keep people from trudging mud through the house. You can go one-step further if you like and request no shoes. If people don't feel comfortable taking off their shoes all together, consider providing disposable paper booties to go over them. A polite sign at the door is sufficient. Perhaps a few pairs of your own shoes at the door will encourage people as well.
Not only does this show that you care about protecting your home for the next owner, it also shows that you care about the finishings and the property. This is an added bonus to those potential buyers who rank cleanliness high on their list. The more you protect the flooring, the less a new owner will have to come in and fix.
People will no-doubt bring an umbrella when they come to your door, so pop a basket just outside the door if it's undercover, or just inside if it's not. Make sure to put an umbrella in the bucket already so people know what to do.
For the backyard, go out and buy a couple of nice umbrellas. Pop another basket just inside the back door and put the umbrellas in it. This means potential buyers can check out the backyard without getting drenched.
Regardless of what's happening outside, flowers inside always make the space feel homely and welcoming. You don't need to fill every room with blooms, just a big vase in the entrance (if you have one) and another in the main space of the house. Ask the florist to recommend flowers with a light and airy scent so the smell will be inviting as well.
And don't forget the front yard either. Curb appeal is just as important in the rain as it is when the sun is shining, if not more. Consider finding a nice flowering plant to plant in the garden, or if there's no grass out there, pop a flowering pot out front.
Wet weather sometimes means going that extra mile to make sure your home is presentable and appealing to potential buyers. But don't be discouraged by the rain. Always remember that those who step through your doors, despite the weather outside, are generally serious buyers. When it's raining you'll generally not have people just meandering through open houses simply to take a peek because they have nothing else to do, so every visitor counts.