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Hosting an open house and having potential homebuyers come in and out of your home is part of the home selling process. In order make your home stand out from the rest, you’ll need to put in a little work. Cleaning, staging, and adding curb appeal are all easy, budget-friendly ways to spruce up your home and entice buyers.
At this point you might be wondering just how successful an open house could be. In addition to bringing in a plenty of buyers, an open house offers a relaxed environment for buyers to tour your home and ask questions of your realtor. Plus, as Trulia points out, it often results in a quicker sale since it “allows you to skip weeks of individual showings and enjoy the benefits of a one-day affair that optimizes the audience.”
Focus on the Exterior
You might not think much about it, but curb appeal is important. If you aren’t sure where to start, go across the street and take note of any glaringly obvious problems such as overgrown shrubs, grass, and trees, dingy siding, or a crooked mailbox. Spend a day tackling basic yard maintenance such as mowing, weeding, edging, and trimming shrubbery. Add a fresh layer of mulch around flower beds, and add a few extra flowers for an easy pop of color. Speaking of color, you might also consider giving the exterior of your home a fresh coat of paint for that like-new appearance. Continue your painting spree on shutters and doors too. Your roof is an important part of your exterior as well, and needs to be cleaned periodically to remove mold and moss. If you don’t feel comfortable, bring in a professional, and have them check for broken or missing shingles while they are up there.
Bust the Clutter
Homeowners should make sure the home is clean, de-cluttered, and ready to show. Before you start decluttering, you need to understand that there are two types of clutter. There is genuine clutter, which are items that are taking up space, out of place, or that you’ve been meaning to toss out. It will take time, and it might even be overwhelming at times, but taking the time to sort through items gives you a head start on packing, and ensures that when you do move, you aren’t paying for items that you don’t really need. The second type of clutter refers to items that could get in the way of the sale. This could be an ottoman that is too big for the room, distracting personal items, or a room that isn’t being used properly such as a dining room that has become an office. Spend at least a week going by room-by-room and removing and/or paring down items so that buyers can focus on your home.
Set the Stage for Success
As buyers walk through your home, they should be able to see themselves living there, and proper staging does just that. Homeowners don’t have to be a pro to stage your home, but you can certainly bring one in if you so desire. The key is for your home to look lived in, but organized and clean. Put away all personal items including photos, collections, kid (and pet) toys, and religious items. Make sure your home is spotless, and all unpleasant odors removed. Once the big day arrives, make plans to be out of the home so buyers don’t feel uncomfortable. This might be a good day to attend an open house yourself.
Prepping for an open house is no small task, but it is certainly doable. By adding curb appeal, decluttering, and staging your home, you are already one step ahead of the game. Now it’s time to sit back and wait for that coveted offer.
This article was submitted by Suzi Wilson.
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.