OPEN HOUSE PREP- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW – excerpted from the upcoming book THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PREPPING YOUR HOME FOR AN OPEN HOUSE by Suzie Wilson

 

If you’ve never been to an open house before, you’ve probably at least seen a sign advertising one. Now that your home is on the market (or soon to be), that sign will be for your open house. According to realtor Charlotte Tomic, owner of Charlotte Tomic RE, open houses give the overall selling process a boost. “It allows prospects and agents to view an available property at the same time reducing individual showings and getting more results,” Tomic explained. “Open Houses give you a leg up on the competition in terms of attracting agents who may know someone perfect to sell your listing property to.”

 

However, you want to make good use of that leg up by ensuring you have adequately prepared your home. The following tips will help you get ready for your open house.

 

Make It Shine

 

As the homeowner, you have a responsibility to ensure your home is looking it’s best, and Tomic agrees. “The agent should request the owner make the house look as good as possible in terms of minimal clutter and cleanliness, maximizing the experience of those in attendance who may have also seen comparable properties,” Tomic said. You need to do one initial deep clean and a quick touch up before buyers arrive. Deep cleaning means doing the tasks you tend to skip in your regular cleaning routine such as shampooing carpets or scrubbing the walls. The average price to have your home deep cleaned in Miami Beach, FL ranges from $91 to $151, according to HomeAdvisor. Cleaning is a time consuming task, and time isn’t free. You may have work, kids, or school, and finding time is hard. Getting that initial, professional clean provides the framework to help you keep your home looking nice up to open house day.

 

Clutter Isn’t Welcome

 

It’s natural to collect and accumulate stuff, but buyers don’t need to see it. An open house is their opportunity to picture themselves in your home, and clutter can get in the way. Rather than think of de-cluttering as a chore, think of it as head start on packing. You’ll have to box everything up anyway, and you might find that there are some things you can get rid of to reduce your moving cost. It is helpful to go through each room and sort by three categories: keep, toss, and donate/sell. Pack up what you can in boxes, but store these elsewhere so it doesn’t become clutter. Keep in mind that some items that are considered clutter are for everyday use, including toiletries, small kitchen appliances, and pet supplies. Speaking of pets, make sure you pick up after Fido and Whiskers, and temporarily rehome them during the open house to minimize distraction and stress and please buyers who aren’t necessarily pet lovers.

 

Make Small Enhancements

 

The keyword here is “small,” because you don’t want to overdo it and not be able to recoup the costs. There are small home improvements you can make to add value, impress buyers, and secure a sale. It is best to take care of any repairs and maintenance first, as these are sure to be deal-breakers, and a contract will often hinge on these being made. Have your roof, furnace, and plumbing inspected, and fix anything you know will be a red flag such as a leaky faucet or weathered siding. Painting walls, regrouting the tub, or replacing hardware in the kitchen and bathroom are things you can do yourself. Don’t forget the outside of your home, though. Curb appeal is something you can enhance on your own as well, and it’s simple and budget-friendly. You can add a coat of paint to the door, shutters, mailbox, and porch railings, add a few potted plants, or go thrift shopping to find a rocking chair to add a homey feel.

 

Preparing for an open house might sound like a lot of work — and it is — but it’s worth it when you get an interested buyer. Increase your chance of success by cleaning, de-cluttering, and tackling home improvement projects before the open house. Then, sit back, try to relax, and hand the baton to your realtor.

 

Photo By: Pixabay


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