At some point, all Homeowners have to prepare for an open house, but most of us do not know where to start! Here are a few tips to help out.
If you’ve decided to put your house on the market, your real estate agent may wish to begin with an open house. It can be an exciting time selling your home and buying a new one, but it can also be stressful. Just how should you prepare for an open house? Do you need to do everything or only the minimum?
Consider how much time you have and what you are working with. Often when you first hire an agent, they’ll be eager to get your house on the market. This is your best chance to present your home in its best light right out the gate for a quicker sale possibility. A well kept or a newer home will capture a lot of attention when first listed, so its best to get your home ready after you begin to place it for sale. A fixer-er-up-er can take more time to sell because it needs the right buyer. In this case, you may not need to do much to prepare for an open house except highlight the selling points and show the home has good bones and potential.
Buy big garbage bags, as you’re going to need them. It is best to make your open house date after your city or townships next garbage day, as you’ll want to have the garbage lifted away by then, this goes for Recycle also. Note that in some parts of Canada, you’ll have to buy extra tags for extra garbage removal or drive any additional parcels to your local garbage dump.
Once you’ve gone through your home and tossed the junk, it’s time to begin cleaning. An old tactic from last century is still applicable. This involves removing EVERYTHING from a room, one room at a time, then giving it a thorough clean. Wash walls, windows, carpets, dust and wax wood. As you clean, you’ll see what is broken and what needs to be replaced or fixed, and you can repair it as needed.
Most people don’t have time to repaint an entire house before an open house. It is possible to paint a few rooms, such as the living room or kitchen! Most homebuyers are only concerned about the main living areas, anyway. If your home already has nice paint then your good to go. If you have an older home with hardwood floors you could also have them sanded and stained to give them a fresh glow.
After you have cleaned and painted, it’s time to sort through your furniture. Only put back what accents and highlights a room. The same goes for accessories. For the rest of your stuff, either donate it, toss it or put it in a box and place it into storage. You want to stay away from over cluttering a room. Potential buyers have a hard time visioning their stuff in a room that is over cluttered.
Some rooms may involve a higher expense than others. If you think that a family is your target market, it may be worth buying some new appliances or installing a few new lighting fixtures but please talk with your Realtor as they would know best.
The small details can go a long way
Don’t forget to clean out closets, cupboards, and the basement too. People will check these areas. A clean and neat room gives them a better opportunity to picture if your house works for them.
Also be aware of bad smells. These can come from the bathroom, the cat’s litter box, and under the kitchen sink where the trash is kept. Use plenty of cleansers to clean up these spots long before prospects arrive. Make sure you air out your home with fresh air and try to stay away from using cover-up sprays just before the open house. Baking a batch of cookies or an apple pie before an open house has been known to help also.
Right before an open house, herd the kids and the pets. Make one last trip to the outdoor garbage bins and one last tidy up. Pick or trim dead flowers from the garden and place a fresh bouquet of flowers on the dining room table. Opening up your curtains lets in all the natural light, so it is not dark and set your thermostat at a comfortable temperature as you do not want people to feel hot in the summer or cold in the winter.
With a small amount of effort, your home will look perfect for the next open house!