Author: Suzie Wilson
Book: The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House
Don’t Forget These Simple, But Often Missed, Steps to Hosting the Perfect Open House
When it comes to showing your house, you rarely get a chance to make a second impression. Potential homebuyers can be turned off by the smallest of staging mistakes, and others may love your home because of a minor flourish. As far as holding the perfect open house, the devil is definitely in the details. Here are some commonly-overlooked but vital things you must do to attract buyers at your next showing.
Remove AND mask odors
Do you know what your house smells like? Probably not. That’s because we get used to odors if we are around them all the time. What smells neutral to you may be off-putting to a potential buyer. Tackle this problem by both removing and masking odors. Shampooing any carpets or rugs is a must. Febreze upholstery. You can use candles, an oil diffuser, or plug-in air fresheners too – just make sure that they are fairly neutral in scent.
Put your family photos away
Photos and personal items can give a home a lived-in feel, but as a seller you are trying to make your home a blank slate. This way, potential buyers can imagine themselves in the space. Make sure you get rid of photos and excess personal items before the open house.
Set your dining room table
This small but effective flourish can make your home much more attractive. Use your best dinnerware and make the dining room table beautiful. This way, a potential buyer can imagine what it would be like to have a nice dinner in the home.
Touch up your walls
Clean, un-scuffed walls can make your home look years younger and so much cleaner. You don’t have to put a fresh coat of paint throughout your entire home (though it surely wouldn’t hurt). All you really have to do is some touching up.
De-canine your home
There’s no way to hide the fact that you own dogs (it’s a required legal disclosure), but you can do everything within your power not to remind potential homebuyers of this fact at every turn. Vacuum pet hair, hide dog bowls, toys, blankets etc., and finally (and most importantly), get your dog out of the house. Boarding your dog for the day of the open house is the smartest plan.
Add a touch of color with outdoor flowers
Don’t be so focused on staging the interior of your home that you forget about the place where the true first impression is made – the front yard! Adding a splash of color with some flowers at open house time can make a huge difference in your home having curb appeal and, well, just looking drab. Luckily there have been surveys on what types of flowers homebuyers find the most attractive. These include sunflowers, geraniums, and lillies. Check here for more smart gardening ideas.
Adjust the thermostat
For the most part, you are never going to get your home to be the perfect temperature for every single visitor. What you can do, however, is use common sense. If you’re trying to save on cooling costs in the summer – give it up for the day of the showing. An open house means that you’re going to have a lot of bodies inside your house at one time, plus the door is going to be opening and closing all day. Be smart. Lower your thermostat a few degrees to compensate. You underestimate how much being hot and miserable can affect someone’s perception of your home.
By the time open house day rolls around, you should have already gotten the big stuff – the repairs and remodels – out of the way. All you can do is make your home more attractive and inviting with some surface-level care. When it comes to staging a home, nothing is too inconsequential as to be ignored. Homebuyers are perceptive!