Preparing Your Home for an Open House

published by on May 7, 2014After You Move Tips

An open house can be an effective way to get people into your home so they can see it for themselves, fall in love with it and buy it. While some realtors are forgoing the open house, others continue to embrace it as an effective part of an overall sales strategy. If you are going to have an open house, these tips will help you prepare your home so it shines for the potential buyers who will walk through.

Clean, Clean and Clean Again

For your open house, your home needs to sparkle. Start cleaning a few days ahead of time and focus on problem areas, like your kitchen or bathrooms, which tend to get dirty the quickest. After al that cleaning, be sure that strong-smelling chemical odors aren’t lingering in the air by the time of your open house. Work to make sure the home looks and smells as close to new as possible.

Remove Signs of Pets

You love your dog or cat, but a potential buyer doesn’t want to wonder whether or not your pet has left some unexpected surprises behind. Remove all signs of your pet from the home, such as the litter box, toys or food dishes. Make arrangements for your pet to be housed somewhere else on the day of the open house.

Give the Home a Fresh Coat of Paint

Before the open house, take a look around your home. Are there areas where you need a fresh coat of paint? Touch up these areas. If you have time and rooms need a new coat entirely, go ahead and do it. This will be money and time well spent as your home looks more appealing to potential buyers.

Depersonalize Your Home

That family portrait hanging above the mantle may make you smile every time you look at it, but a potential buyer doesn’t feel the same way. In fact, it might detract from your ability to sell the home. The potential buyer sees it as “your” home when your family’s pictures are on display everywhere. Take down personal mementos and photographs while you have your open house. Leave them down while the home is on the market to improve your chances of a fast sale.

Add Some New Towels

Are the towels in your kitchen and bathrooms a little worn and dated? They may still be functional, but they can detract from your ability to entice buyers to buy your home. Buy some thick, fluffy towels to hang in these areas to give them that polished, ready-to-live-in look that buyers want.

Set the Table

Have you ever toured a model home? Think about the table. Chances are it was set, at least in part. Why is this? A set table makes the buyer envision family dinners and dinner parties at the home. Pull out some decorative plates, placemats and a centerpiece, and set the table before you leave the home during the open house. If the table has seen better days, thrown on a neutral tablecloth for good measure.

Place Fresh Flowers

Fresh flowers, provided they aren’t overly fragrant, can bring color and interest to the space. They make your home look like it is well cared for, and provide the attention to detail that will spark the interest of potential buyers.

Remove the Clutter

If your home is a bit too full of “stuff,” take time to remove some of that clutter. De-cluttering your home will make a big difference in how inviting and open it feels. As you de-clutter, consider your furniture. Do you need to make room by removing some of your furnishings? Rent a storage locker and put some of your items there so you can better stage your home and make it look appealing to buyers. In fact, if you can eliminate about half of your belongings, you will be in better shape for the open house.

Showcase Your Storage Space

Your open house is not a time to shove everything into a closet and slam the door, hoping it stays. People are going to be opening your cabinets, drawers and closets. They need to see organization. These spaces need to feel large and adequate to hold the potential buyer’s extra stuff.

Some of the things you will do for your home, such as putting out flowers, are minor, while others, like painting, are a bit more involved. Some are obvious, but others are surprising. If you take the time to give attention to each one, you will see more interest from your open house, and that interest could quickly lead to your home selling at a fair price.

Guest Contribution From:

Phil Henderson, President of Henderson Properties, a family-owned real estate agency that focuses on home sales services and property management in the greater Charlotte area.


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