Tips for Your Open House

Are you preparing to have your first open house? Before your realtor puts the open house sign in your front yard, be sure to try these tips to make your home appeal to buyers. While playing the open house game for the last four months, I have put these tips from realtors, homeowners and friends to good use, and always get positive reports back from the realtor hosting my open house.

When a potential buyer approaches your home, remember that their first impression will make them decide to drive on, or to stop and further investigate your property. Curb appeal should be strongly considered when preparing for your open house. Remember to mow the lawn, shovel the snow, clear the walkways from ice, leaves or cut grass. Have your house number clearly labeled on the mailbox or front of the house. Spruce up the front by adding flowers, decorative rock landscaping or other personal touches to make your property unique. Hide garbage cans and recycling bins in the garage, put away hoses and put out the welcome mat. After all, you don’t want them to track dirt into your clean home!

Once the potential buyer enters your home, you want to appeal to all of their senses. Fresh cut flowers in the living room, bread baking in a bread machine in the kitchen and a few sprays of Febreeze in the bedrooms can give your home a warm welcoming scent.

Be sure you have the thermostat set to a comfortable temperature, or open your windows for a fresh breeze if the temperature and weather conditions allow.

Visually, your house needs to be perfect. This means cleaning from top to bottom, including the corners. Be sure to vacuum, mop and sweep every floor in the house. Don’t forget to dust and spray down every window and mirror with Windex, especially if your windows are covered in doggie kisses! Be sure to make the beds, put away the laundry, empty garbage cans and put away any extra knick-knacks. Remember, less is more.

Turn on all the lights in the house, and open all the curtains. The lighter and brighter your home appears, the larger it feels. Arrange your furniture in a welcoming way. Don’t leave coffee tables and dog toys in the walkways. Accent the sofa with pillows, and clear off the dining room table.

My realtor even suggested renting a storage unit to house my pre-packed items that are waiting for the move. I am also using the storage unit to tuck away extra furniture and items that were cluttering up the closets and the basement.

After your open house, be sure to follow-up with your realtor. Take note of anything that potential buyers mentioned about the presentation of your home, so you can make changes for the next open house.

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