Tips for a Successful Open House


By Talya Tate Boerner

Are you planning to sell your home? If so, now’s the time to begin thinking like a seller. You’ve heard the saying “home is where the heart is,” right? A good piece of advice when it comes to selling your home is to stop thinking with your heart and start thinking objectively. Your home is now a property, and the ultimate goal is a real estate transaction. To secure a buyer, your property must make a stellar first impression. Start implementing these simple ideas today for a successful open house tomorrow.


Clean! This goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway and probably more than once. Your home needs to shine like never before. Clean every square inch from top to bottom, inside and outside - windows, carpets, those dusty blades of the ceiling fan, all of it. If cleaning is not your specialty, hire a professional cleaning service to do the dirty work. This will be money well spent.



Remove Clutter. Less is definitely more when it comes to selling your house. Get a head start on moving day by packing away personal items including that entire shelf of family photos and coveted collection of knick-knacks. Potential buyers must be able to envision themselves living in your home, and to do that they need space to dream. Organize closets and cabinets so that they look roomy. Buyers are purchasing square footage. Maximize yours by eliminating the unnecessary.


Curb Appeal. Freshen up your landscaping with flowers, pressure wash the driveway and sidewalk, trim shrubs, and tidy your front porch. If needed, give your front door a new coat of paint. Remove those dead bugs from inside the light fixture. An updated mailbox may be in order. Add a pop of color with a new doormat. Those gutters you’ve been meaning to clean? Now would be a great time to do just that. No one wants to buy a house and clean gutters on day one. These are simple updates that will lure folks from the curb into your entryway.



Repairs.  Home improvement shows may be popular on television, but that doesn’t mean potential purchasers at your open house are looking for a fixer upper. Repair that leaky faucet and broken windowpane before listing your home. If needed, consider doing major improvements such as roof repair or carpet replacement. Today’s buyer is busy, sophisticated, and doesn’t want to deal with deferred maintenance. Turnkey is the goal.


Pets. If you have pets, take them elsewhere during the open house. If you have a litter box, hide it during your open house. Make sure your home has no pet odor.


Kitchen. Kitchens sell homes. Put away all those small appliances, except maybe your cool mixer or coffee maker, and show off your beautiful countertops. Is your refrigerator a catch-all for vacation magnets, pizza delivery coupons or your child’s artwork? Take it off. All of it. Are your cabinets outdated? Replace pulls and freshen them up with a coat of paint or stain. Add a bowl of fruit or flowers from your garden. You want buyers to imagine whipping up a gourmet meal at your stove.



Bedroom. Your master bedroom should be an inviting retreat, a place for relaxing, sleeping, and well, not a spot for catching up on office work or doing laundry. Remove anything that doesn’t belong in a bedroom. Spiff up your bedding with fresh linens. If your bedroom is painted any color other than a soothing neutral, repaint. Think luxury hotel.


Bath. All that cleaning we discussed earlier? That goes double for the bath. Buy a few new fluffy towels to be displayed only during your open house. Remove personal hygiene items from the bathroom countertop - yes even your fancy electronic toothbrush. Your bathroom should be spa-like. Add candles and flowers.



Backyard. Your backyard is additional usable space, so make sure yours is ship-shape and inviting. If you have a back porch, deck, or patio, brighten up your furniture with fresh cushions. Add potted plants. If your open house is held on a hot day, a tub of iced-down water bottles on the porch is a nice touch.


A few final tips. On the day of your open house, make sure your home is bright and cheery by opening blinds and turning on lights in every room, including lamps. Light candles. Add fresh flowers in your entryway. A platter of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies can’t hurt either.


The only thing left for you to do is leave. Treat yourself to lunch at your favorite local restaurant. Go for a walk. Buyers will be more comfortable during your open house if you aren’t present. Let your realtor work her magic. It’s what she does.


Good luck and happy selling!

by First Security // September 1, 2016