As the frozen tundra carries on here in the Chicago area it may hard to envision outdoor entertaining for an open house today. However, as the weather continues to warm up over the next couple of months, you’ll want to be prepared to take full advantage of the occasional t-shirt weather weekend in early spring time. Here are a few ideas to help you start planning ahead for the first outdoor open house of the season so you’ll be ready before your competition.
“Guide to Throwing a Summer Open House in Chicago!”
Throw A Party!
Who doesn’t love a backyard BBQ or block party! The days are long, the evenings are warm! Invite your neighbors, open the doors and let everyone know the house is available! Your neighbors could have friends looking to buy! And the idea of picking your new neighbor will make people much more interested! It is a great way to really get the word out about your home being for sale. Throwing a party sends a relaxed vibe, makes people feel at home. It is much less stuffy than a traditional open house. And depending on how tightly-knit your neighborhood is, throwing a block party might give you one last hurrah with your neighbors, making it a good way to start the goodbye process. BBQ outside, and welcome everyone into your home!
What Should You Eat?
There are a ton of unique and easy things you can make. If you are going all out with the backyard party, it the perfect time to fire up the grill. Doing this can help people feel as if they are having fun and hanging out in their own (new) backyard. Setting a relaxed and fun environment will let them picture themselves there, entertaining and having fun with their friends.
If you are having a more traditional open house, think of serving cool drinks and snacks. Nothing should be cumbersome or hard to eat. Also, you don’t want anything messy that is going to spill on the carpet in your entry way. Serve fresh lemonade and a watermelon salad in the backyard. Or one of our favorites, caprese on a stick, (just make sure it’s not left out too long.) Nothing you serve should be spoilable. People getting sick is not the key to a successful open house!
Highlight the Yard!
You don’t have to have a huge yard for your outdoor living space to be a selling point. Be sure to spend some time staging the outdoor space for your guests with comfy furniture for your guests to enjoy the space. Consider your target buyer and how they would prefer to use the space and make your adjustments accordingly. Right before the open house do some fresh landscaping with mulch and flowers to improve the aesthetics of your yard space.
The best tip for any open house, any time of year is to declutter. You want people to have fun, and feel relaxed in your home. If people are surrounded with clutter and personal effects, they will not be able to feel as if they are in their own space. And that is what you want…. for them to instantly feel as if they are at home. Take down family pictures and hide away your paperwork that’s lying on the desk. Replace pictures with interesting art pieces and items that are more neutral.