You’re having the jitters. Your open house is tomorrow and first impressions count!
Help your real estate agent make it a smashing success. Here are simple tips for setting your property up for an Open House Sale!
1. Prepare: The rule of thumb is to prepare well in advance, and not 24 hours before. Twenty-four hours will not be sufficient time for the nitty-gritty details that will make or break a public showing. You remember how it was during school. If we crammed, we most likely failed the exam the next day. But when we studied weeks in advance, we felt we knew the subject matter by heart. The same principle applies to open houses. The harder and longer you prepare, the better the results will be. It may even put a few extra thousand dollars in your pocket!
2. Make a Lasting First Impression: A clean house should be the # 1 priority. The word “clean”, however, does not only mean a house that has been tidied up a few hours earlier, a walkway that was swept and hosed over, or windows that were cleared of dust and dirt. “Clean” means a lot more than that. Consider investing in a cleaning service to do a thorough one-time cleaning which includes washing windows, dusting, getting cobwebs off the ceiling fans, and more.
3. Paint: Studies have shown that dwellings painted in neutral colors convey a more pleasant and warmer welcome to visitors; they are able to visualize better about how their own personal effects can blend with the colors. Re-painting your house or certain rooms may become a must, but do it a few weeks before, that way the fumes don’t linger.
4. De-clutter: If you don’t want your potential buyers to trip just as they’re entering the house, eliminate unnecessary furniture and house accessories to allow for more breathing room. If visitors can’t move about freely because there are obstructions along the way, chances are they’re likely to go somewhere else. Clear kitchen counters of everything including small appliances. Remove frames and artifacts from mantels. Buyers will want to see the size of the closets, so organize them. Leave the clothes and shoes neatly hung, but remove anything that you never use or wear. Remember, closets that look like storage rooms are unattractive. Don’t make your potential buyers feel that there are real skeletons in the closet!
5. Be considerate: While dogs and other pets are adorable creatures, they have no place in an open house. One or two of your buyers might not be animal lovers or are allergic to animal hair. Some buyers also know of the damage and dirt these pets leave on their tracks, so keep them out of the house (leave them with a nearby friend or family member) until the open house is over.
6. Smells: What are you making for dinner the evening before your open house? Don’t make anything that will smell up your home. Stay away from fish, garlic, and anything else with a lingering smell. If you are in the mood to cook something the morning of your open house, then go for something with a universally embraced aroma….bake an apple pie or chocolate chip cookies. As well, who doesn’t love the smell of lemons? Do a quick dusting in your common areas using Pledge so that your buyers get that lemon fresh scent as they tour your home.