THE PERFECT OPEN HOUSE - SAN FERNANDO VALLEY EDITION
You probably know the basics of preparing for an open house. But Local Realtor® Julian Park takes it a step further by outlining how San Fernando Valley open houses can be different. “Like with anything, it starts with reverse-engineering from your audience. Ask yourself, how is the SFV perceived differently from places like say, Santa Clarita or Downtown L.A.?” Park says that once you think about it, it makes the process much easier.
1. Natural Light
Park says that natural light is a no-brainer. “The SFV has more days of sun than most parts of the world, even Downtown L.A. That’s a huge selling point, so emphasize it here!” Make sure the curtains and windows are left open as the more natural light in the house will bring in more buyers.
Buyers do not want to be walking around in dark rooms because it also makes the house harder to show.
Light is a very popular topic for open houses because in “How to Successfully Sell a House” written by Elizabeth Weintraub states to “turn on every light in the house, except lights that produce noise such as exhaust fans without separate on / off switches” (thebalance.com).
2. Maximize Space
Julian reminds families that the SFV is a suburbia. That means to emphasize yard space. “This isn’t Downtown LA where you can see your neighbors watching TV.” It’s more about making sure there is no clutter in the front and back yards. This includes asking your neighbors to move their cars as well as your own.
The psychological effect of large lots is undeniable. “Families need space - space for kids, space for gatherings, space for cars. A lot of people spend their days in offices or cubicles. Let’s change that.”
Inside the house, use furniture wisely. Neutral colors always makes a house seem larger. Keep furniture closer together, leaving as much open space as possible. Don’t intersperse furniture randomly - it chews up valuable space.
3. Temperature Control with Air Conditioning and Shade
Park reminds sellers that “the SFV gets hot. Heat isn’t a clean, sleek feeling. Control the temperature and use shade to maintain an atmosphere of control.” Definitely turn on the air-condition at a pleasant 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the backyard, don’t be afraid to use parasols for shade or to let trees provide it. Walking across a yard in blistering heat doesn’t evoke emotions of comfort. Even something as simple as the sound of water can have a cooling effect.
4. Know your Audience: Families
Chances are that a family with one or two children will be buying your house. If your home is like most of the other ones, it’s probably between $550,000 and $700,000 in price and has 3 to 4 bedrooms.
Keep it neutral. If you use colors, make sure they’re pastel. The San Fernando Valley has a large concentration of families. There is no need to go overboard with your own taste.
It's always a plus to show how a home can be kid-friendly.
Park's rule of thumb is the “Ikea Rule”. Make sure there’s enough furniture in there to show people how to use it, but not too much so that people can identify a personality. And yes, that definitely means to de-clutter.
Maximize natural lights, space, and make sure that families can envision themselves there.