Tips on Preparing Your Home for an Open House

Friday Mar 23rd, 2018


While some experts may debate over how valuable open houses are to the sale of a home, the reality is that the success of your open house is directly proportional to the level of effort you put into preparing for your event. Here are some tips on how to get the most from your open house.


Doing the Dirty Work

Everyone thinks they have great taste, and it can be hard to notice unappealing things in a home that has been yours for years. Cleaning, repairing, and decluttering are essential tasks that need to be executed strategically and with precision to prep your home for the open market. To give you some perspective on what might need to be done, ask for honest feedback from a trusted friend or family member to identify some of the more obvious issues. Admitting you are nose-blind to a funky smell or don’t see the wear marks on your carpet can be a challenge for some. Prepare yourself in advance for the feedback so your feelings don’t get hurt, and make sure you ask someone who will tell you the honest truth.

In some cases, there may be nothing you can do, and budget constraints may make the ideal solution impossible.  For example, you may have replaced a single tile with a new one, but it doesn’t blend perfectly with the faded ones that have been there for years. Short of replacing all the tile, this will be hard to remedy.  In other cases, a good scrubbing may be all that is required to have things looking like new. Hiring a professional service to do a one-time cleaning of your home or carpet can make a huge difference in the overall appearance as well. Getting rid of fingerprints, dust bunnies and random grime is no fun, but it is a critically important exercise before you show your home to prospective buyers. Remember that even if something seems minor to you, others will likely notice it, too, so make sure your home is as clean as possible.  


Staging the Space

More than a quarter of real estate agents indicate that they use staging techniques to sell properties, noting that sellers in some markets are willing to pay a premium if it helps them move their real estate, providing proof that it is more than just a passing fad. Understandably, not everyone has a budget for professional staging, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be proactive with the items you already own.

Creating a staged home while still living in it can be tricky, but it’s not impossible.  The key is depersonalizing your space so that prospective buyers can visualize themselves and their stuff in the home.  This is true for pantries and closets, too, not just the larger items and spaces in the home, so don’t forget to clean out that junk drawer.  Removing family heirlooms, religious and political items, and any personal collections is also a good idea.

Don’t forget about the outside of your home, either.  Enhancing curb appeal is part of the staging process, and it is worth remembering that the outside of your home provides the first impression to those who attend your open house.  Take the time to clean the exterior and make any repairs that might be needed, including a fresh coat of paint. Don’t forget the back and side yards. Make sure the lawn and plants are well groomed and that the exterior looks crisp but inviting all the way around.  

Taking the time to evaluate your home the same way a prospective buyer will can help you determine how best to prepare for an open house.  Making any necessary repairs, cleaning, and decluttering are all essential tasks that you will benefit from even after the open house is over.  Taking the time to stage your home will help ensure it appeals to a broad audience, and don’t forget the important role your home’s exterior plays in the process.       

Photo credit: Pixabay

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