11 must-dos for holding a successful open house
Selling a house is stressful, there’s no getting around it, so getting those offers coming in as soon as your home hits the market should be the goal. Adding that finishing touch to a sparkling clean abode can give it a feel good edge that pushes a potential buyer from sitting on the fence to falling head over heels in love. All it takes is a little knowhow.
Follow this checklist to ensure you’ve covered all bases.
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1. Turn on all the lights
A well-swept driveway and front porch create a stunning entryway, but it is the warm glow of the lights that make this house so inviting. Turn on all overhead lights, lamps and even the lights above the stove to have your house looking its shining best, especially in dreary winter months.
2. Add pops of colour
Whether its fresh flowers, a bowl of lemons or other brightly coloured fruit, this is one detail that brings a home to life. Yellow or red flowers in the kitchen are good choices to make this hub of the house feel cheery and bright. If you’re going for fruit, stick to a uniform colour rather than a mixed bowl, and ensure every piece is unblemished.
3. Get the windows professionally cleaned
Squeaky clean windows are an absolute must on open house day, and not just because they make rooms look well-maintained. The pollution, dust and grime that accumulates quickly on windows also blocks out a surprising amount of light. A professional clean will have your home looking fresh and bright.
4. Make the right first impression
Many buyers have all but decided on whether or not to buy your house before they’ve set foot in the front door. They’ve pored over the online photos, done their own research on the street and area, and even mapped out where their furniture will go with the help of the online floor plan. Cleaning everything until it’s sparkling is a given. But fresh flowers and soft lighting will give an entryway a welcoming feel, and that’s exactly what you should aim for at your open house.
5. Splash out on bedding
Take care how you make your bed on open day – the right bedding can give a luxurious edge that carries through to what a buyer thinks the house is worth. Coordinate pillows and cushions with sheets, quilt covers and the valance, and add a fabulous bed runner fit for a five-star hotel. Be sure to iron every item that’s on the bed for that polished finish.
6. Create a feelgood atmosphere
If it’s even the slightest bit chilly outside, light the fire or turn on the heat to a comfortable temperature. Nothing says home quite like the cosiness of a fireplace. On warm days, throw open the windows to welcome in the breeze.
7. Don’t forget about the outdoors
Weeding, tidying and trimming the garden ready for an open house goes without saying, but to get potential buyers imagining themselves using the outdoor space, you need to make it as inviting as possible. This outdoor courtyard has been made all the more special with the simple addition of some silk cushions and a platter of oranges. If you have garden lighting, be sure to turn it on to give the space interest and dimension.
8. Rid the home of clutter
Go outside and walk into your house as if you are a potential buyer. What do you see? Remove all but the most essential decorative items from each room, or ask a friend to look at your home with fresh eyes and advise. A feature kitchen island would be far less appealing, for example, if it wasn’t completely cleared of all the bits and bobs of daily life. Even a fruit bowl would take away from its striking good looks.
9. Do some baking
There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread, or a cake that’s just come out of the oven. Fill your house with heavenly aromas and put the goodies on display under a cake dome just before you vacate the house for inspection.
10. Bring order to toys
Convincing children to keep their rooms tidy is one of the biggest challenges for parents trying to sell a house. Children’s rooms will probably be the last you check before the real estate agent arrives. Arrange soft toys, align books in shelves, and hide away all but the most visually appealing items. Rolling up rugs can also show off beautiful floorboards and make rooms appear larger.
11. Banish all personal items
You might love your children’s drawings and that postcard you got from your best friend stuck to your fridge door, but these kinds of personal details only serve to distract a potential buyer. They need to imagine themselves in the home, so completely clear the fridge of magnets and all they hold, and take down any photos from all other rooms in the house.
Joanna Tovia is Houzz Australia Contributor and freelance journalist specialising in interiors, travel and social issues. See more: joannatovia.com.
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