Diane & Michael Koughan's Blog
Getting your home ready to sell entails quite a lot. Staging, taking photos, stocking the toiletries, and--in the case of an open house--entertaining guests. You want the visitors to your home to feel welcome and like they could live there someday.
To achieve this it takes planning and an eye for what really “works” in your home. To do this you’ll have to let go of everything you’ve made your home into and turn it into a blank slate where others can imagine it fitting their personal taste.
In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on preparing your home for an open house or showing to leave the best possible impression on your visitors.
Remove yourself from the picture
It might be sad to take down your family photos and personal effects, but imagine yourself in a visitor’s shoes. When you enter a home you’re thinking of buying, you don’t want to be distracted by what the previous family did with the home. Rather, you want to look forward and imagine your own family making a life there.
Even the most minimalistic of homeowners tend to accumulate a lot of stuff over the years. However, walking into a home filled with items is distracting from the features of the home. You want to draw people’s eyes toward the best characteristics of your home--whether that’s spaciousness or architectural features.
We suggest packing your belongings by room and renting out a storage facility while you wait to move into your new place.
Working with someone to stage your home is a guaranteed way to make sure your house looks welcoming for your guests and photos. However, if you plan on doing the staging yourself take a look at some similarly styled homes online to find out what looks good in their photos. When we furnish our homes, we do it based on our personal taste, comfort, and utility. Staged homes are about aesthetics and atmosphere.
Once you’ve finished staging, it’s time to clean up after yourself. Wipe down surfaces, polish wood, and clean the windows.
Don’t neglect the exterior
The outside of your home is as important as the inside. It will be visitor’s first impression when they arrive at your driveway. To prepare, make sure your siding and windows are clear of dirt, the lawn mowed, the gutters cleaned, and the doors freshly painted, if necessary. Sweep the driveway and remove any yard tools from sight.
Your real estate agent knows how to run an effective open house. However, here are a few key things to remember on the day your guests will arrive.
First, light a candle and use air fresheners where necessary. A neutral smell is the best option, but an air freshener is better than a bad one if there are parts of your home that are prone to bad smells.
Next, make sure the bathrooms are stocked with toilet paper, tissues, and clean towels. If yours are getting old, it could be a good time to replace hand towels altogether.
Finally, welcome your guests with a new welcome mat at the front door to make a great first impression.