An open house is a crucial step in selling your property. It’s the best time for you to showcase what you’ve got and entice potential buyers. It’s also your chance to make a positive, lasting impression on people who come in to check out your home and hopefully encourage them to make an offer. But how do you prepare for an open house? Here are some tips to help you get started.
How to Prepare for an Open House: 9 Tips from the Pros
1. Pay attention to the outside of the house.
When people pull up to your place, the first thing they’ll see is the outside of your home. That’s why curb appeal matters.
Consider painting the front door or replacing any outdated lighting fixtures. Make sure there’s nothing hanging off the roof or spilling out of the gutters. Remove grime or spots from your home’s exterior with a pressure washer. Also pay attention to window screens and frames. They might need to be washed!
Mow the lawn, trim the greeneries, pull any weeds, and add some colorful flowers to your yard, if possible.
Other ways to elevate your property’s exterior is by replacing a faded or rusted house number with a new one. Having a new welcome mat also adds a nice touch.
Try to box some belongings — clothes, kitchen items, tools, and toys — you can do without for now. Depending on how much you pack away, these boxes can be stored neatly in your garage, a storage unit, or a portable pod.
For some items, you may want to sell them on online marketplaces. This could be a smart way of making a few extra bucks while getting rid of some unneeded home items and furniture.
Plus, decluttering will reduce the items you’ll have to pack and organize, making the move to your new home a lot easier.
3. Repair, replace, or repaint.
It’s vital to check and work on what needs to fixed to avoid inconvenience to potential buyers.
Regardless of how small maintenance jobs can be, they can be a deal-breaker if potential buyers find them during the open house. If you have property issues — broken windows, chipped tiles, clogged drains, cracked doors, dated carpets, damaged floor boards, faulty gates, loose fixtures and handles, or poor plumbing systems — make sure to get these fixed beforehand.
If you’ve lived in your house for a while, you might consider a fresh paint job to restore and upgrade its quality before selling. Consider repainting outdated bathrooms, kitchen cabinets, or bedrooms with neutral colors to give a calm, fresh ambiance. You can also look into current interior design trends that make your home look and feel more enticing.
4. Clean, organize, and tidy up.
Having a clean and orderly home makes a significant difference to buyers during an open house. As such, it helps to thoroughly clean and tidy up your house before the big day.
Here are some deep cleaning fixes to ensure your home is in top shape:
- Clean the insides of cupboards, dishwashers, ovens, toasters, and wardrobes.
- Clear out the mailbox and drawers.
- Fix your bathroom — towel racks, tap fittings, and vanity tops.
- Scrub off stains and patches on tiles, walls, and corners.
- Take out the trash.
- Vacuum every room in the house.
- Wash and put away the dishes.
- Wipe and polish counter tops, tables, and other furniture.
5. De-personalize each room.
Buyers can get distracted if there are a lot of personal items left for the open house.
That’s why, for the whole duration of your open house, try to pack away personal belongings. These include accessories and jewelery, family photos, memorabilia, painting and posters, and vacation souvenirs.
Presenting your home as a blank canvas will help the buyers envision and feel what it would be like to make it their home. Plus, it can create more space in your home, making it feel bigger and brighter.
6. Mind the lighting.
People generally want to live in an open, bright home. Before you welcome buyers, make sure your blinds, curtains, and drapes are drawn open to bring in natural light. Use lighter window dressings to allow light to flow freely into your home. Doing so will make your place feel alive and spacious to the buyers.
Similarly, ensure all lights are working so you can turn them on to illuminate the room as needed. Consider using LED globes as they tend to last longer and are more energy efficient. Adding the right kind of lamps can also make your home look brighter and bigger.
Essentially, having a well-lit property will help create a more inviting atmosphere that can be attractive to buyers.
7. Use common scents.
Your home’s smell is just as important as the appearance!
It helps to open your windows to let natural air flow and remove lingering odors. Also, remove anything that can cause unpleasant smells — pets, footwear, laundry, aromatic food — as these could distract potential buyers.
Adding artificial air fresheners, incense, or scented candles can help counter off-putting odors. But make sure not to overdo them as they may cause a strong, pungent aroma. Natural scents like freshly brewed coffee, flowers, or potpourri can also create a pleasant, homey smell in your place.
8. Advertise your open house and market your home.
Creative and savvy marketing strategies will help sell your home fast to the right buyer.
Consider creating brochures that give your buyers something tangible as they do a walkthrough and even after the inspection. Handing out DIY flyers in your local community will also be helpful. When listing online, you’ll also need to include high-quality photos and videos that showcase the best features of your property, as well as all the important details.
It’s also beneficial to have an experienced agent who’s an expert in open houses and is knowledgeable of the local market.
Your agent should be able to:
- Answer queries about the open house (e.g., date and time, address, price range).
- Create open house signs to help visitors conveniently find your home.
- Post your open house details on relevant real estate listing sites and social media platforms.
- Send out open house invitations to broker networks.
9. Don’t forget the final walkthrough.
Even if you’ve done weeks or months of planning and preparation for your open house, it’s still possible to miss the details. That’s why it’s beneficial to go through one more walkthrough to ensure everything is in place before your potential buyers come in.
Here are some last-minute things to consider:
- Clear away new messes or misplaced small objects.
- Display brand new linens, pillows, rugs, table runners, floor mats, and hand towels to give your home a fresh feeling.
- Double check the drawers and closets to ensure that they’re empty or kept organized, at a minimum.
- Take out the trash and hide the bins. Should you decide to keep one, use a small bin and store it where it’s not disruptive to buyers.
- Take your pets elsewhere during the open house. Remove any hair, feeding bowls, toys, litter boxes, and anything that could cause a lingering smell that might put off buyers.
Preparing for an open house is beneficial when you’re planning to sell your property. With these nine tips, you’re well on your way to creating an appealing and inviting atmosphere for your home, and ultimately attracting potential buyers.
Thinking of selling your Las Vegas home? The Brendan King Group can help. Our team of seasoned agents and local experts can guide you — from planning your open house to closing. Contact us today to learn more.
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