How to Prepare for an Excellent Open House
Maximize your shot at success. Your property needs to be in the best possible light when you are hosting an open house. Follow these to-do lists to prepare your home for an excellent open house.
Depersonalize the House
Help the buyers envision themselves living in the house. When you are hosting an open house, it’s a good idea to remove all traces of personal items.
– Pack away family pictures, kids’ artwork and family mementos
– Hide toiletries and personal hygiene products
– Put away any controversial items including graphic, sports or political-related messaging
– Ask a friend or neighbor to watch your pets
Deep Clean and Organize
Next, you need to thoroughly deep-clean and organize. Buyers notice the tiniest details.
– Vacuum, sweep and/or mop all flooring surfaces
– Dust all surfaces
– Clean window panes and wipe down window ledges
– Clean splatters and fingerprints from the stove, oven, refrigerator and microwave
– Remove soap scum, dirt, and residue from the bathrooms
– Empty trashcans
– Clean and put away dishes (including those inside the dishwasher)
– Clear cobwebs from the home exterior and garage
– Clean the grime that builds up on light switches, door handles, baseboards, and windowsills
– Organize your closets and drawers (buyers like to look in the hidden places)
– Remember, cleaning can kick up a lot of dust, so open the windows and air out the home the day before the open house.
Stage Your Home
Stage each room in your home for its optimal use. You personally may not have used your guest room or patio often, but you should still stage these areas to show buyers how these could be used. Here is an example of how you can stage your spare bathroom as a spa retreat.
– Carefully fold matching towels in the bathroom, tied with a ribbon
– Place candles around the bathtub
– Keep a brand new bottle of liquid hand soap near the sink
Freshen Your Home
First impressions are powerful. Boost your curb appeal and make sure that your potential guests experience a “wow” factor when they initially lay eyes on your home.
– Remove all yard debris, trim the lawn and shrubs
– Plant fresh flowers
– Clear the gutters and power-wash the exterior
– Place a new welcome mat and a wreath or neutral decoration on the front door
Schedule the Right Time
There’s nothing more frustrating than going to the trouble of getting your home ready for an open house…. and not having a single person show up. It’s a good idea to host an open house during times when people are most likely to be free, such as Saturday or Sunday afternoons.
– Consult with your agent to schedule your open house
Ask a Friend or Neighbor to Do a Walk-Through
Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to walk through your home. You want to know if you overlooked any important details. It’s better to hear feedback from a friend than to miss a potential sale.
– Choose someone who is willing to be brutally honest
– Encourage this friend or neighbor to give you constructive criticism
Preparations for the Day of the Open House
– Place a bouquet of flowers in the entry way
– Brew coffee and bake cookie for the potential buyers
– Relax and decompress
Your agent should be equipped with handouts that contain high-quality photos and relevant details about your home, plenty of business cards, as well as a sign-in form so that your agent can capture the information of the prospects. Your agent should also ensure the property can be easily found by placing an open house sign and tying balloons to your mailbox.
Now it’s your job to decompress and relax at a local coffee shop or restaurant while your trusted agent does what he or she does best!