The Perfect Property

Getting Your Home Ready For An Open House

by Zachary Thompson

Exposure to as many potential buyers as possible is the main reason for holding an open house. The idea is that the curious looker could turn into a buyer if they end up loving the home they walk through on a Sunday afternoon. Sellers should take the time to ensure that their home is showcase-ready for the visitors, so read below for some tips on preparing your home for an open house.

Consider a Preview

Also known as a broker preview, a preview showing is limited to real estate agents only. It's an excellent way to expose your home to lots of real estate agents who will pass along what they see to their clients who are looking to buy. It can also produce some helpful insights into what needs to be fixed before you let the buyers in. Real estate agents can provide your agent with opinions about what issues might need to be addressed, such as clutter, a noticeable odor, price, and more.

Tips to Make Your Home Shine at the Open House

  1. Thoroughly clean the home. The goal is to make the home as nice as possible. That means not just vacuuming but a carpet cleaning, dusting of all walls, shining up the kitchen appliances, washing the windows, scrubbing the bathroom fixtures, and more.
  2. Don't forget about the outside of the house, particularly the front. Be sure your lawn is mowed, landscaping is trimmed, flowers are planted (if seasonal), trash cans are put away, and back decks are swept and washed.
  3. Remove some of your stuff. Your home should no longer be considered your home and it's best to consider making it a blank slate for the new owners. That means you should remove as much furniture as you can and still live there. You might want to move your larger pieces to a storage facility for the time-being since less furnishing makes rooms appear much larger. You should also remove family photographs, certificates, and trophies and pack them up for your new home. Those items distract the buyer. Remove most decorative, sentimental, collectible, etc. items from tabletops, dressers, bookshelves, etc. If possible, remove anything that is not included in the sale of the home.
  4. Make arrangements for family pets. Not every buyer has pets and removing them (and all signs of their existence) helps the buyer focus on the home itself.

Last-minute touches

  • Straighten and fluff pillows.
  • Neaten up the closets (yes, buyers will be looking in your closets).
  • Unless your agent is providing snacks, make coffee or provide water and bake something that smells yummy.
  • Fresh flowers in at least one room are a nice touch.

The last thing on this list is to prepare yourself for the offers that are sure to roll in. Speak to a real estate agent for more tips on making the most of your open house.