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Top 10 Open House Tips for Sellers

EXPECTED READ TIME: 7 MINUTES

When you’re selling your home, preparing for an open house or single viewing can be stressful. Plus, it’s hard work keeping your home looking its best when it’s on the market. From sparkling counters to plans for pets – read on to get our top tips for showing your home at its best in any season.

#1 Air it Out

The first thing you need to do is open all windows to air the house out for an hour. Although this might be a challenge in winter, having a freshly aired out home is a must. You don’t want any visitors to be distracted by musty smells or odors.

And rather than using any perfumed plugins that many people are allergic to, get natural odor eliminator bags made of bamboo and charcoal and place them in any rooms that smell like pets or have a musty odor.

#2 Turn on the Lights

A bright home shows much better than a dimly lit one. If you’re exhibiting at night, turn on as many lights as possible. Yes, your electricity bill might be higher for a month – but it’s worth it. Make sure every room is well lit.

And for daytime showings, make sure your windows are clean and open the blinds and curtains to let the sunshine in. Besides natural sunlight, it’s still not a bad idea to have one light on in every room to ensure there’s good lighting regardless of the weather or season.

#3 White Glove Cleaning

Before putting your home on the market, hire a house cleaner to come in and give it a top-to-bottom deep cleaning. That’s an important tip on how to prepare your home for an open house. Once it’s spotless, it’s easier to keep up. Then, before each showing ­– clean all the floors, counters, table tops, sinks, etc. Any dirt, crumbs, dust, or pet hair will be a distraction to buyers. So, before every showing and open house, do a walk-through inspection.

If you have kids – besides making their bedrooms look perfect, give them another job. That will make getting ready for the showing so much easier.

#4 Secure Your Belongings

Although your real estate agent or buyers’ agent will be showing your home, you can never be too careful. Don’t leave anything out that’s valuable, including confidential personal information.

Lock up jewelry, laptops, phones, iPads, and other valuables. Consider installing a locking doorknob on one closet. That way it’s easy to gather valuables and lock them safely away.

#5 Add Special Touches

There are some simple things you can do to create a relaxing and inviting ambiance. These include having quiet instrumental music playing in the background, putting out a freshly baked plate of cookies, providing bottled water, setting the thermostat for a comfortable temperature, and getting fresh flowers to place around the house.

Give your real estate agent any unique information about your home and neighborhood that you think the buyers might be interested in. Doing that adds a special touch. For example, you could highlight nearby parks, shopping, and local events. Talk about any recent home renovations you’ve done or how the neighbors are friendly and have well-behaved children.

#6 Living Areas & Bedrooms

Go through each room and make sure it is thoroughly picked up. Put away anything that’s lying around. Vacuum and dust if needed. Make all beds and ensure closets are tidy. If you have multiple dog beds – get them out of the house and stored in the outdoor shed or garage. Add fresh flowers.

Have each member of the family take responsibility for one room besides their bedroom. That way, you’re not doing everything yourself.

#7 Kitchen & Bathroom

These two rooms need to sparkle and shine. View them with a discerning eye, just like you would if you were staying at a hotel. Ensure garbage is taken out, counters are clean, sinks and toilets are sparkling. Add some fresh flowers to the bathroom and maybe a small flameless candle.

Here’s another important tip - layout new fresh bath towels in the bathrooms and hand towels in the kitchen. Just adding this one touch can make the kitchen and baths appear more updated and inviting.

#8 Let Family & Neighbors Know in Advance

When you’re going to have an open house, it will come off much smoother if you let everyone know in advance. That includes neighbors since the street might have more cars than usual parked.

Also, let any friends and family members who might drop by know you’re having an open house.

#9 Pets

Have a plan for your pets because you can’t leave them in the house during any showings. Barking dogs can ruin an open house. Either take the pets with you or have them stay with friends or family. Take any beds and litter boxes to the garage or outdoor shed. To make sure your home stays smelling its best in between showings, wash your pets. If your pets are dirty, your home will be stinky.

#10 Curb Appeal

And before you leave, inspect the front porch. Sweep off any leaves and dirt and make sure the front door is clean. If you have potted plants on the porch, check for dead leaves or flowers.

Now that you have your top 10 open house tips, best of luck with your viewings and open houses. Follow this open house checklist, and you’ll enjoy success.

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