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Open houses are still critical to getting buyers who don’t like being tied down to formal showings into your home. They also allow buyers the opportunity to compare your property with another property. Have you done all you can to make sure your open house is a success?
If you’re selling your home, there are some simple, often-overlooked things you can do to help ensure you host a winning open house.
Seems like a no-brainer, right? But often sellers commit to only a quick surface clean, instead of a good deep clean. Buyers rarely mention a house that is clean and tidy, but they will remark about a dirty one, as they make their way for the door. So be sure carpets are cleaned, windows are washed, and baseboards and knickknacks are clear of dust. Consider hiring a professional cleaner to help you. Most homeowners spend between $122 to $167 nationally when hiring a cleaning service.
Make It About the Buyers
When buyers enter your home, they want to be able to imagine themselves living in your space, and that isn’t quite possible when the family portrait looms large over your fireplace. Be sure to remove pictures of your family from around the house, and this means everywhere. And just like personalized photos, if you have political or religious artwork, now would be a good time to remove it. Depersonalize every inch of your home.
Don’t Forget About Curb Appeal
As easy as it is to just think about cleaning the inside when you’re getting your home ready, the outside may be more important. If your house doesn’t exude great curb appeal, buyers may choose to not see the inside. Consider some of these tips to polish it up:
- Buy a new welcome mat.
- Plant a colorful flower pot for the front porch.
- Trim back all overgrown shrubbery around your entrance.
- Scrub the sidewalk and porch.
- Powerwash any decking.
- Get new house numbers.
- Replace an old, dingy mailbox.
Make Sure Buyers Have an All-Access Pass
If you block off an area to your home, this may raise red flags for a buyer. Instead, do whatever is required to make sure any potential buyer can see all of your home. This may mean renting storage space for a room that is filled to the brim with clutter, or hiring a repairman to fix a leaking hot-water tank.
Let the Sunshine in
Be sure to set the mood with great lighting. A room filled with natural light can improve the mood of buyers. Similarly, entering a dark space is a real downer. In addition to setting the mood, natural light also makes your home look bigger, so be sure to open all the curtains and blinds to let the sunshine in.
Add Personal Touches
There are some great personalized touches you can add to your open house that give it a leg up against the competition. Consider some of these ideas:
- Display a beautiful vase of fresh cut flowers.
- Bake a warm batch of homemade cookies.
- Have a cool beverage available on a hot summer day or a warm beverage if it’s chilly outside.
- Set the table as if you’re inviting them in.
- Fill the home with a fresh, welcoming scent.
Make Sure to Leave
Potential home buyers won’t feel very welcome if they’re greeted at the door by the homeowner. The seller has one goal in mind, selling their home, and this makes for a biased, self-gratifying presenter, and that makes a home buyer feel awkward. So be sure to use proper seller etiquette and be out of the home by the time potential buyers roll up.
Open houses are the perfect time to present your home in its best possible light. Be sure to help your realtor by spreading the word, as word of mouth is an important way to market your property. A little extra effort on your part will ensure you hold a successful open house!
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.