Selling a house is a major life event. Once you lock in a buyer, everything starts to fall into place, but the events leading up to that point are the hardest for the seller. The open house can be the most nerve-wracking part because that’s when you’re inviting people into your home and really trying to sell it in person. Before you have an open house, remember these eight preparations.
Chances are, your house isn’t ready to show as-is. Before you get to the staging phase, you’ll need to declutter the house first. Unlike normal cleanings, you can’t just shove everything into the closet out of the public eye. You’re showing potential buyers the house, which means they’ll want to take a peek inside the closets. Think “catalog closet” rather than personal junk storage. Since you are planning to sell the house and move anyway, you could get an early start on discarding and packing up personal items. It’ll make your home ready for the open house and give you a head start on the big move.
Once your house starts to show more of its bare bones, those surfaces that were previously covered by your things will now need to be cleaned. Give your house a deep scrubbing before you invite guests to scrutinize every tile, countertop, and corner. It’s a big job that might call for professional cleaning.
It’s worth putting a little money and effort into making your house look visually pleasing. Money spent in décor and staging costs could equal a bigger profit on the home’s sale price. Items that you purchase for the staging could be used in your new home, so it’s not exactly money wasted. If it’s good enough for pictures and the open house, then it’s good enough to live with later.
Social Media Hype
Instagram stories are great ways to tease the upcoming open house. You can start with short videos during the prep phase to get your followers excited about what’s to come. On the day of the open house, post walkthrough stories or a live stream on Instagram or Facebook.
Sign-in sheets are outdated and hard to read. Have a tablet on the counter with a digital sign-in sheet, or use an open house app to collect contact information. Talk to your real estate agent about using one of these apps.
Don’t forget to print listing flyers and friendly signage that shows your attention to detail and design. Make your flyer stand out with color and a sleek design.
We know that your dog is a part of your family, but not everyone feels that way. It’s best to find boarding on Rover for your pooch during the open house so that he’s not in the way, creating a distraction for fellow dog-lovers, or bothering the non-dog people. Besides, some buyers might be turned off completely if they know that a dog has lived in the house.
Treat your potential buyers like special guests at a party. Have drinks and snacks available to offer them so they’ll stay longer and leave with a good impression. Refreshments attract shoppers, retain their attention longer, and make your open house more memorable after the fact.
If you’re worried about shoes dirtying and scuffing your floors, you can purchase an automatic bootie dispenser that puts booties on your guests’ feet when they walk in. It’s a nice touch so that buyers don’t have to bend over to put on booties, and it shows buyers that you keep your floors in pristine condition. Who wouldn’t want to live in a well-kept house?
Some of these preparations might not seem simple, but they are simple enough for anyone to do without needing a unique skill set, trade, or equipment. You don’t have to knock down walls to upgrade your home before the open house. You just need to remember the basics and add a little oomph on top.
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About the author:
Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.