How to Prepare for an Open House

Centennial Home for sale 8216 east phillips place

Keeping Emotions in Mind

When having an Open House you need to change your mindset and emotions. The goal is to get a full price offer or more. Yes, it is a difficult time to prepare, and change your home into a product for sale.

Try to pull your emotions out of the selling part of the process. It will make life easier.

First off, you will need to sanitize, so to speak; make your home a model home or at least a home that is very inviting. It’s like staging your home with your own furniture, or in some cases using a staging company to bring in outdoor furniture, decorations and inside furniture to stage your well-planned Open House.

What does this mean to sanitize? Remove all your knickknacks, personal belongings, personal photos, things that are very personal, things that would trigger a potential buyer to see your family living in the home and not their family living in your home. You may end up moving half of your personal belongings out to prepare for a successful Open House. You may need to rent a local storage unit or have a storage POD delivered to your home to prepare for the sale of your property. Another option for storing your personal items is to have a friend, hopefully, next door, that will allow you to store your personal belongings and furniture in their garage temporarily, or maybe a relative who lives close by will store your personal property.

You will need to organize your laundry room closets, bedroom closets, kitchen pantry, bathroom storage, and general storage areas to maximize the appearance of usable space in your home. This makes your storage areas appear bigger than they are. Your Open House guests will most likely look in the closets and storage areas and imagine their items in there. You want your potential buyers to mentally see enough room for all their items and furniture.
Arrange your furniture in your bedrooms, living room, family room, and any other rooms to maximize the space of each room. You want your home to appear larger than it is. You want your home to feel spacious.

To Clean or Not

Deep clean your home. If you need help with this, there are many local cleaning service companies that can come with a crew of professional cleaners and do a professional deep cleaning on your entire house. Every surface, including walls, floors, ceilings, mirrors, and countertops should be free from grease, grime, stains, and dust. If walls are dirty and can’t be cleaned, you may consider hiring a professional painter to paint them. All rooms should be clean, especially the bathrooms and kitchen not only for the open house but for the entire time your home is listed in the MLS, and available on the Multiple Listing Service. People will make decisions based upon the condition of your home, starting with the kitchen.

If your home is in a sloppy, dirty, unkempt condition, people will walk out of your home as fast as they walked into your home. No one likes to walk into a cluttered dirty home. It doesn’t feel “at home” it feels like there is a lot of work ahead of them. It’s a negative feeling they get. The cluttered, dirty feel will definitely affect the outcome of the final price you receive for your home.

You may need to buy new decorative pillows for your couches and beds and possibly new linens for the bathrooms and kitchen, make sure these items are a neutral color and match the rooms they are placed in.

On the day of your Open House, have a sweet aroma in your house. Some professional realtors will have cookies baked in the home prior to the Open House, other Realtors will have a neutralizer spray to make the home smell good. Don’t overdo the scented spray though. Some sprays are too strong and will smell toxic. Many people do not like the air freshener aroma and it could turn off buyers. Make sure it is subtle and pleasing.

Open House Ambiance

Soft background music is also appealing to play throughout the home but not too loud or you will overpower your guests. This is an optional item because of the different tastes people have for music. The best is like elevator music, there is no singing, just pure music and usually, it’s soft.
Make sure you have your home heated or cooled properly during the Open House and the HVAC system is in working order before being listing for sale on the MLS.

In addition to the inside of your home, the outside is just as important. You will need to make sure the outside of your home is clean, neat and inviting. It’s called curb appeal.
Take the time to wash the entire house down, remove all dirt, cobwebs, spider webs, bird droppings, and debris from the walls, driveway, walkways, and planters. Make sure your grass is mowed and looks healthy. If your grass is mainly weeds, hire a professional to replace your grass, or at least make it look good. Trim all shrubs as needed and remove anything that is dead. If you have overgrown trees, make sure you have a professional tree service come out and prune or trim them to make them look appealing. Professional tree service and removal companies can trim your trees the right amount, so they don’t look butchered, but instead, manicured.
Make sure the rain gutters are clear of all debris and flow properly to a proper drainage area.
Wash all your windows and mirrors… hire a professional window washer to do the job. Make sure they clean the window tracks and screens, inside and outside the home. If your window screens need repair or replacement, repair or replace them prior to listing your home on the Multiple Listing Service. It is better to have these things done prior to listing. Real Estate Agents will notice the condition of your home when it goes on the market. If your home is impeccable, Real Estate Agents will show it often. You will get a better offer if your home is in great shape and all the minor issues are taken care of prior to the listing of the home and especially the Open House.

Is the Outdoor Area Clean

If you have an outdoor lighting system, make sure it is working properly. It’s better to remove old broken lighting than to show your home with lighting that doesn’t work properly.
Make sure your home’s first impression is the best impression.

Make sure the front entry door is clean and well maintained. If the front door needs paint, hire a professional painter to come out and paint it.

Make sure your porch light is clean and in good working order. If the porch light is old and ugly, replace it. If you have a doorbell that is broken, repair it and make sure the chimes work properly. It is very inexpensive to do these repairs to add greater value to your home.
Ensure your home is easily identifiable from the street with freshly painted curb numbers and possibly new house numbers, replace them if they are old and tarnished. There are some really nice house numbers that look appealing to a buyer.

Replace your welcome mat. All home centers carry the latest style of front door mats. Find one that welcomes your guests into your home.

Now you are ready for a Great Open House!