Preparing for Open Houses and Visits from Buyers

Almost immedidately after posting the pictures I took for our MLS listing on Facebook, a friend asked if our condo looked the same all of the time. I'd love to say everything is always put away and things are nearly organized every time we walk out the door, but the truth is we're normal people who do normal things. The mail sometimes gets left on the counter. Clothes don't always get put away. Dishes get left in the sink.

There are a few practices we've worked into our morning and evening routines so that our little home is always ready or nearly ready for a visit from a real estate agent and their clients. I thought I'd start a "Preparing for Open Houses" series to share what we've done and maybe a few more ideas will come out in the comments.

First of all, we've started adding flowers to our grocery lists. We usually get flowers as a treat. Marc brings them home as a surprise sometimes and I'll pick up some hydrangea or tulips now and then. During tulip season, I have a hard time staying away from the flower section at Whole Foods. The tulips they sell come from Stevensburg, which isn't too far up the highway from Charlottesville (the tulip producer up there, Fresh Tulips USA, got profiled in the Washington Post a while back).

The condo has only been on the market for one Friday, but our flower sprees started when I took photos, so it'd been a few weeks.

I've been buying a few inexpensive mixed bouquets along with tulips and distributing them around the condo. The mixed bouquets often have a few hardy flowers along with a couple that might fade quickly. I keep recombining to keep everything looking nice.

On the bar, I put a little vase with our basket of cookies, the marketing piece, and our agent's cards in a little tray.

I'll be making another batch of cookies for the open house this weekend. If you know someone in Charlottesville looking for a condo in a great location, convenient to the University (especially the hospital) and downtown, send them our way!


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