7 Tips to Prepare for an Open House
It's very uncommon for buyers to purchase a house without viewing it. That is why preparing your home for showings and open houses is very crucial. But unlike a showing, an open house is the perfect opportunity to showcase your home to numerous potential buyers at once. The most important thing when preparing for an open house is to set up your home so that buyers can envision themselves in the space, and that means staging your home so that it doesn't look so pre-occupied.
Get Rid of Clutter: You know all those newspapers and bills sitting on your dining room table? Or those knick-knacks that are accumulating dust on your mantle? Well it might be a good time to get rid of all those things. Clutter is by far the biggest turn off for for potential buyers and could be the reason you receive an offer several thousand dollars below listing price. Buyers need to envision their belongings in the space, so it's important to de-clutter as much as possible. This even includes furniture. If you have too many furniture pieces in a room it could really hinder the buyers ability to imagine how they use the space. So don't be afraid to start packing those extra chairs and love seats. In this case less can really mean more.
Clean, Clean Clean!: Usually a spotless home will go unnoticed, but a dirty home will be hard to miss. You are preparing to move anyways so it's best to clean your home well before the open house. This means wiping off all that grease on the kitchen counters and getting rid of those cobwebs and dust bunnies in every corner. If the job is too tough for you and Mr. Clean, then hire a cleaning service to handle all the dirty work.
Remove Family Photos: That picture of you and your family at Disney World from last year may be super cute, but it's really not necessary to have displayed during an open house. Not only does this protect you and your family from strangers staring at all your photos, but removing all family and personal photos can really help neutralize the space for potential buyers. We have seen in many instances where buyers get tied up in looking at your photos rather than looking at the space.
Making Repairs: Buyers naturally become home inspectors when viewing a home and are looking at all the minor details. That slightly wobbly hand rail and leaky faucet can be all the reasons why a buyer walks away from submitting an offer. Many times these minor home repairs are very cheap so don't be afraid to go above and beyond on the repairs because it will definitely pay off when the offers come rolling in.
Update Your Decor: A little bit of paint and fresh towels and linens can really change a living space. It is best to neutralize your living spaces with colors that are easy on the eyes. Light grey, beige and even white paint colors can really make an old room appear newly remodeled. And changing your bed linens and bath towels can add that extra touch.
Do a Little Landscaping: It's time to put those green thumbs to good use! The outside of the house is the first thing buyers will notice when walking up to the front door, so it's important that you give your landscaping a little TLC. Trimming your lawn and bushes and even adding new mulch and flowers can instantly enhance your curb appeal. If a buyers is impressed with the landscaping and is then wowed by the inside of your home, it only increases your chances of getting a top notch offer.
Get Out!: This might sound obvious, but we can't stress it enough that you really should not be present during the open house. Buyers can really get uneasy if you're hovering over them and following them around the house. Your Realtor can vouch for you and showcase the best features of your home to potential buyers. So do yourself a favor and head out for lunch or a walk during your open house and your Realtor can update you with all the feedback.