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An open house is a terrific opportunity to find the right buyer for your home. It’s simple —the more people who tour your home, the more likely it will be discovered by someone who loves it. And like any other step in the home-selling process, open houses need to be done wisely in order for them to be effective.

Here are some things to consider as you and your real estate professional work out the details on the perfect open house.

Choose the Right Date
Obviously, you want to set aside a weekend for the open house. Pick a date where you can be away from home during the big event. For example, don’t schedule it to take place before a family celebration or the night your kid is starring in the school play. And during the winter months, have a backup date ready in case your original date gets snowed out.

Wake Up Early
You want your home to be in perfect condition during the open house, so be sure to get a head start on the day. Wake up early enough that everyone in your household has time to make their beds, eat breakfast, clean up  and get ready for the day so that your house looks its best when the first house hunters arrive.

Get Out
Having the owners around can make things awkward for potential buyers as they look over a home. Your real estate agent knows how to run an open house, so leave it in their hands. Go to a movie, have a nice lunch out or go see your favorite team in action.

Take Your Pet Somewhere
Spend some quality time with your dog at a park during the open house or let them have fun with other canines at a doggie day care facility. You can also spend the day with the dog at a friend’s or relative’s house- a terrific option for cat owners.

And who knows? By the time you come home, someone may have decided that your home is the place they want to live.