Anytime you host a party there’s a great deal of preparation that goes into it. The same applies to an open house. The only difference is that you don’t know these people. Friends will excuse the mess, but potential buyers are looking for a first impression that sticks. They are, after all, looking to buy your home, so it makes sense that they are holding your home to a higher standard. These tips will help get your home open-house ready.
- Is an Open House Right for Me?
Perhaps you have a family member or a friend whose home just sold, and maybe they didn’t have an open house. This leaves you wondering whether you need to have one. The truth is, every realtor is different and has their own way of doing things.
Think of an open house as your time to show buyers what your home is made of, but in a more relaxed environment. Plus, your agent will be on hand to answer questions and draw attention to all the wonderful things that set your home apart from the rest.
- Work From the Outside In
The importance of curb appeal can’t be stressed enough. It is the first thing buyers see and gets things started on the right foot. Adding curb appeal might sound like an expensive task, but the truth is, small enhancements go a long way. For example, you can draw attention to windows by giving them a good cleaning to enhance the shine, painting shutters, or adding some flower boxes for a pop of color. While your mind might wander to all the cleaning that needs to be done inside the home, don’t forget about cleaning the exterior. Just about every home could do with a good washing from time to time, and now is as good a time as ever. Before you reach for the pressure washer, give the hose a try first. If the dirt and grime has settled in, use a pressure washer, but test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure you aren’t causing any damage.
- Clean and De-Clutter
To begin, it should be noted that cleaning to host company and cleaning to host an open house are similar, yet very different. With company, it’s safe to say they won’t be inspecting the grout on your tub or opening up closets to see how much space you have – but buyers will. You need to deep clean your home. It may sound like a large task, but if you break it down by room, it becomes much more manageable. While you can tackle it all in a weekend, time is often a factor, so consider cleaning one or two rooms a day. Focus on areas buyers will really look at such as floors, counters, and storage spaces. Once you’ve cleaned, there is still work left to do. One of the main things homeowners forget to do is put away personal belongings. Clutter can make it hard for potential buyers to picture themselves in your home, and it can give off the impression that there isn’t enough space. While you should put away mail, paperwork, photos, and knickknacks, clutter includes everyday items such as toiletries and appliances. All items on countertops and other surfaces should be cleared and neatly stored away.
Open houses can help you sell your home. Make it work for you by sprucing up the exterior, and deep cleaning and depersonalizing the interior for an open house that is sure to secure a buyer.
Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.