How to Prepare a Great Open House

Stephanie Oliver
Published on October 18, 2018

How to Prepare a Great Open House

While the actual presentation of your open house may be in the hands of your agent, there is still plenty for you to do to prepare your home. After all, open houses often lead to quicker sales. Here are some tricks to holding a successful open house.

Create Curb Appeal

It cannot be said too often: the very first aspect of an open house that a potential buyer will experience is the outside of your home. From the photo on the flyer your agent prepares to when the buyer walks up your front steps, you want your home to look amazing from the outside. That means you should keep your garden or front yard in pristine shape, and if there are any glaring repairs you need to do to the outside of your home, make sure they get done. Put down a layer of fresh mulch, replace your broken mailbox, and make sure your lawn is lush and well-trimmed. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way to making a home seem inviting, as can masking nicks in the wood. Clean your driveway, and also make sure you detail the outside panes of your front-facing windows.

Clean and Clean Again

If you can, spring for a cleaning service to do a one-time, detailed cleaning of your home. If you can’t hire a pro, you’ll have to do an in-depth clean yourself. You should dust everything before the event, make sure your floors are swept and mopped, clean your windows thoroughly to remove any smudging, and make sure that your furniture is polished. You also want to make sure that there are no dirty dishes “hiding” in the sink. Clean your toilets and keep the lids shut. There should be no dirty laundry in open hampers in bedrooms. If you have children or pets, make sure that all toys are put away before the big event to keep your home as streamlined as possible.

Stage Your Home

Having a clean home is the first step to staging, but not the last. Decluttering and removing personal items, including photos, children’s artwork, medicine, valuables, and anything political, are the next important aspects of staging. Once you have removed these items and safely stored them, you can focus on making your home look elegant. Make sure the towels you display are new in both the kitchen and bathrooms. Consider fresh flowers as a nice accent and pop of color, but otherwise, keep color schemes neutral. You want your viewers to be able to project their own vision on your home. If you can, either polish or replace your fixtures, including faucets, handles on drawers, and knobs on doors. You want your home to look new and modern, but timeless.

Create Ambiance

In the days leading up to your open house, make sure any food you cook isn’t pungent. Odors can linger, and the last thing you want is your home smelling like onion or garlic. On the morning of the open house, consider baking something sweet to lay out for guests. Not only will your home smell nice, but your visitors will enjoy having a snack while they look around. Brewing a pot of coffee is another way to provide a little extra treat and make your home smell pleasant. If you are going to play music, make sure it is soft and instrumental. Buyers may believe you are attempting to cover up noisy neighbors, a nearby freeway, or some other source of noise if you’re blasting the latest rock ‘n’ roll hit.

It will be a busy week, but all the work you put into making your open house perfect is likely to pay off. Having a clean, welcoming home will impress potential buyers. It’s time to look forward to the future by selling your home.

This article was contributed by Suzie Wilson, who loves to help people organize their home for a stress-free environment, and also has a new book coming out soon, The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House.  You can see more from Suzie by clicking here: Happier Home

Picture by Pixabay