Getting Your Home Ready for an Open House
The process of selling your home is exciting, but it requires a lot of hard work and preparation too. Buyers will be touring your home via showings, and if you host an open house, you could have several potential buyers checking out your home at once! Just as you would tidy up before having company over, the same applies to open houses.
While some real estate agents have a love-hate relationship with open houses, many believe they can help sell your home. So, what does it take get your home open house ready? The following tips, in addition to insight from Panetta, will get you moving in the right direction.
First Impressions Matter
First impressions matter in social situations, and they certainly matter in real estate, too. So it’s crucial that you don’t neglect curb appeal. If your home is in need of work on the exterior, buyers will be quick to assume the same applies to the interior. To give your curb appeal a boost, start by cleaning the exterior. Use a pressure washer on a low setting to remove dirt and grime from siding, and clean the windows (inside and out) to add sparkle. If the outside of your home still looks a little dull, give it a fresh, new look by repainting the front door, shutters, house numbers, and mailbox. Landscaping will go a long way in making that first impression too, but don’t go overboard so that you still recoup the costs. Mow the yard, pull weeds, and add a layer of mulch or pine straw. For a pop of color, add a few low-maintenance perennials for an instant upgrade.
Clean, Clean, Clean
As a homebuyer yourself, you’ll be inspecting every nook and cranny of the houses you tour, so you should expect the same when it comes to your home. Clean your home by breaking it up into four levels: above your head, eye level, waist level, and floor level. Start at the top and clean anything you can’t see such as ceiling fans, air vents, light fixtures, and upper cabinets. Then, move to the eye-level zone, which should include washing curtains and windows, as well as dusting/cleaning mirrors and artwork. As for waist level, this will be what you’d do during your typical cleaning routine such as vacuuming, mopping, dusting, polishing, wiping down countertops, and scrubbing the bathroom. Last but not least, go to the floor level and wash rugs and carpeting, as well as sweep the front and back entryways.
Don’t let all the hard work you put into cleaning get overshadowed by clutter. All countertops should be free and clear, and closets should be organized and ready for viewing. This leaves room to add some personal touches so that buyers can envision themselves in the home. “Whether it be baking cookies in the oven, removing personal items from view, or lighting candles, the home should be inviting and warm,” Panetta says.
After putting in sweat and time to get your home ready for the open house, it might be tempting to stick around so that you can point out your handiwork, but you could do more harm than good, and realtors usually advise that the homeowner should not be around during the open house. So it’s best to clear out and spend a fun day with the family while your real estate agent works her magic.