The challenge of selling your home begins at the open house, but first you must make sure your home is ready to be seen. To improve your chances of outshining the competition, its necessary to do a little prep work. You have just a few moments to impress the potential buyers and make them fall in love. Stay organized, take it slow and use these steps to make the absolute best first impression possible.
7 Tips for Successful Open House
1. Make a List of Needed Improvements
Before getting started, it’s important to make a list of improvements your home needs, and make a realistic plan that fits your budget. To do this you will have to let go emotionally. Start thinking of the house as a product rather than your home. Walk through your property as a buyer would, and try to look at it through their eyes. Home buyers want value for their money and move-in ready conditions. Putting a little more time and money into updates could lead to a quicker sale and a higher sales price.
2. Tidy Up
Make your home look its best by tidying up. Cleaning your home from top to bottom is an inexpensive way to make your home show much better during your open house. Pay special attention to your kitchen and bathrooms, areas of the home that tend to get the dirtiest the fastest. Clutter isn’t something most potential buyers will overlook, so you shouldn’t either. Make the beds, empty out the closets, and make your home look as spacious as possible.
Even though it’s not actually a room, don’t overlook the exterior. Sprucing up your yard and your home’s entrance is essential because it’s the first thing buyers see. Plant some seasonal flowers, paint the front door, replace old house numbers, clean your gutters out, get a new welcome mat, wash the windows, trim the shrubs, mow the lawn, make your driveway look nice, and clean the roof if there is any debris.
3. Depersonalize the Home
When potential buyers walk into your home, they should picture their family living in the house, not yours. To create a sense of neutrality, remove family photos, and religious, political, and racy art. Take it a step further by painting over any bright colored walls with a neutral color such as white, beige, or pale green.
Related: Decorating Your House to Sell
4. Fix What’s Broken
Now’s the time to make those much needed repairs. Fix that leaky faucet, replace those burned-out light bulbs, and repair that broken windowpane. These are noticeable maintenance problems that keen-eyed buyers will spot right away.
5. Last Minute Details
Now that the improvements have been made and the place has been tidied, it’s time to add those last minute details to really set your home apart. Here are a few ideas.
- Set out vases of fresh-cut flowers
- Let in the light. Buyers want a bright home, so open the shades.
- Adjust the temperature to a comfortable setting
- Serve food and drinks. It will encourage buyers to stick around longer, giving them more time to check out your home.
- Set the table. Stage your dining room table with your best china.
- Spruce up your kitchen and bathroom for your guests with plush new linens.
6. Leave the House
Unless you don’t have a real estate agent to be the host, you shouldn’t be there during the open house. The owner’s presence may make potential buyers uncomfortable since they will feel as though they can’t say what they are thinking.
7. … That Goes for Pets and Children Too
No matter how adorable and well-behaved your children and pets are, they shouldn’t be in your home during the open house. You want the sellers to focus on your home, so even if your dog doesn’t bark, he may still be a distraction. Ask the neighbor if they can watch the pet for a few hours or ask grandma to babysit.