The housing market is slowly turning around, but it can still seem sluggish. This means you need every advantage possible once you list your home. Open houses are a great way to get people looking at the house, and the following are nine important things to do before the big day.
1. Clear Clutter and Organize
You will need to clean out the basement, garage, and closets. Dispose of the trash and donate any usable items. Once all of these areas are cleaned, you need to organize them. You want potential buyers to see that the house has plenty of room for their items by neatly arranging yours.
You need to clean the entire house. Dirty homes do not impress anyone. Start with the bigger jobs like sweeping the garage, cleaning windows, buffing chandeliers, and steaming the carpets. Keep in mind that step number one is different than cleaning. Keep going once the house is organized.
3. Withhold Shopping Trips
You will need to still buy necessities like food, but resist the urge to purchase anything that is not absolutely needed. Especially if these are things that will end up filling the closets back up. If you must buy something, be sure to remove a similar item from the house to make room for it.
4. Remove Personal Items
Place all nick knacks and family photos in a box. Decide if each piece on display within your home is actually décor or if it is simply sentimental. If it is sentimental, it is best packed away. “Potential buyers want to imagine their own family living in your house, and you don’t want your personal items interfering with that image, said Century 21 Cityside.
5. Prepare the First Room
Think about which room visitors will see first. Look at this space the way potential buyers will. Arrange furniture for the best flow. Place things where they make the most sense. Remove any plants that do not look amazing as well as things like the dog’s bed.
6. The Sniff Test
Everyone’s home has a certain scent. Make sure yours is a pleasant one. Avoid cooking foods that leave odors behind like hard boiled eggs, onions, roasted garlic, and broccoli. Take care of pet odors, and open the windows. Refrain from using chemical room sprays to mask odors. You may also try burning a scented candle, adding white vinegar to the garbage disposal, and wash and fold all laundry.
7. Detailing the Kitchen
Organize your pantry and cupboards, and clean the oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher. Anything that a potential buyer can open needs cleaned. Normally people don’t see these areas, but those that are interested in your house will be quite curious.
8. Make an Entrance
Make the front door an inviting space. Empty the mailbox, sweep the porch and steps, wash windows, and shake out the welcome mat. This area needs to be spotless. Anyone coming for the open house will see this space as they approach the house and walk through the door. Think of the front door area as an extension of the curb appeal that you want to use to invite buyers inside.
9. Brighten the House
Replace all burned out light bulbs. Re-clean the bathroom and kitchen just before the open house begins, and adjust the heating and cooling to a comfortable level. Keep in mind that the front door will be opening and shutting several times. For safety reasons, remove personal papers as well as jewelry and other valuables from the property. It is always better to be safe than sorry when inviting strangers to come into your home.
The open house will bring the people in, but it is their impression of the place that will cause them to make an offer. Make sure your home is clean and tidy with a pleasant scent. Clear out the personal items and clutter so that they can imagine themselves living here. The little bit of effort needed will pay off in large ways.