Ask any real estate agent and they will agree that having no clutter in a house when it is on the market is one of the most important things you can do. Take some time to do a clear out of your items. You don’t need to throw away or donate everything, they can simply be stored somewhere else until you have sold your home. Work on moving out excess books, children’s toys, clothing and even furniture that doesn’t fit the space perfectly. Buyers will be looking inside any storage that is built into the house as that will be part of the purchase, so don’t forget the wardrobes, pantry, and kitchen drawers when you are decluttering.
There are many other ways that you can optimise your open house. Read on for more tips:
Getting them in
You can’t have a successful open house without people. And to entice them to come and inspect your place, the work starts long before the first open day.
This is where marketing plays a central role. Advertisements for your house should be listed in the major real estate apps, online and in local media. The photos need to be well shot, light and showcase the best qualities of the home. The blurb that goes along with it gives additional information highlighting not only the features but starting to set the lifestyle mood such as ‘entertainers delight’ or ‘a private oasis’.
Have the house cleaned out and organised before taking the photos. Now is also the best time to get onto those small fixes around the house that you’ve been meaning to get around to. Lightbulbs that have blown, wobbly cupboard doors, leaky taps and peeling paint are things that you might have learnt to ignore in your daily life but are glitches that will stand out to potential buyers.
You may have seen TV shows where the home-owner bakes cookies on the morning of their open home so the place smells homely and inviting when people arrive. While the actual baking isn’t necessary, the theory behind it is solid. Create an atmosphere that makes people feel instantly warm, welcome, and comfortable. You can do this by lighting scented candles in different areas around the house and turning on key lights. A nicely staged home can also create great ambience; think perfectly placed cushions and throw rugs, bunches of pretty flowers on benches, and furniture that has been positioned in the optimal spots.
On the morning of the open home, be sure not to have a big cook up breakfast so there are no lingering odours. Perhaps consider skipping your morning shower until after the inspection. If this doesn’t sit well with you, be sure to wipe down the mirrors and surfaces of all condensation and put away any wet and soggy bathmats.
Preparing a house for sale is a huge task. If the budget allows, it might be worth considering outsourcing. You can outsource pretty much everything; help with clearing out and decluttering, hiring storage units for the spare furniture, and cleaners to give every inch of the house a good polish.
Another outsourcing option that is becoming more popular these days is home staging. There are companies who specialise in styling your home, so it looks like it belongs on the cover of a magazine. They will bring in furniture that shows the potential of the space, plus decorative items to create that ambience and give the home an inspirational feel.
Rover goes with you
Just like any other members of your family, the four-legged ones should also leave the house when it is time for inspections. Not everyone will feel comfortable to inspect the backyard freely if there is a dog left behind, so you could end up reducing your potential buyer pool. It can also be off-putting or even scary to some people if there is a barking dog on the property.
Before leaving for the morning, do a thorough check that there is no animal poop in the yard, or dog fur around the house.
Always be on show
Once you have your house ready for inspection and you have listed it on the marketing websites, always stay switched on. Potential buyers will likely do a drive by to look at the home from the outside. So, make sure you keep the front yard tidy, the porch free of clutter and it can also be a nice idea to have the outside lights on to give it a nice warm glow at dusk.
Try to keep the inside as clean as possible – not an easy task if you are busy or have children at home! – but it takes a lot of pressure off from the hours before an open inspection if it is mostly clean and tidy already. Plus, some serious buyers might ask for a private inspection on a different day during the week, so it’s good to be able to accommodate this if your house is ready to be seen.
Preparing for an open home can be a stressful and busy task but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the experience. Getting your home to a point where you are proud to show it off to potential buyers can be a rewarding feeling. And if it results in a great sale then all the hard work will be worth it in the end. Good luck!