You’ve thought about it and considered all your options and have come to the conclusion that now is the time to sell. It’s certainly a good time to do so, because the real estate market, along with the lending industry, is changing in more ways than one. Home values continue to recover across the country, and, that gives potential sellers more motivation. The phenomenon is only spurred on by low interest rates, better credit scoring for borrowers, and diverse loan products. What’s more, inventory levels favor sellers, creating more robust competition among buyers. With such conditions, now is a great time to sell.
For sellers, it means having to present their properties in the best light, which can be done with a bit of strategic prep, especially in key areas, like the kitchen and bathroom. Since these rooms serve many purposes, buyers concentrate their attention on all details.
Kitchen Open House Prep
Most homeowners who put their residences on the market know the kitchen is the single most important space in the entire house. It’s a place where meals are prepared, where guests inevitably gather when over, and, where the day effectively starts and ends. The trick is to maximize the positives, minimize any negatives, and present it in a way that conveys it’s both welcoming and functional.
“Holding houses open consistently, Sunday after Sunday, can be very rewarding and profitable. You can attract more prospects by investing several hours in this manner than you can in perhaps three or four weeks by the conventional appointment method. Additional benefits are the exposure it gives a salesman to buyers and owners of real estate and the opportunity you have to discuss other properties with them. Last but not least it will sell the property in question.” —Realtor.org
When you are readying your property to host an open house, the kitchen is definitely where you’ll put most of your efforts. Here are the key kitchen open house prep-steps to take to wow potential buyers touring the home:
- Avoid cooking the night before. Don’t sabotage your next day open house by cooking fish or another food that leaves an odor. It’s not necessary and it’s better just to order take-out or go out to eat the night before.
- Clean out the refrigerator. A decluttered, well-organized refrigerator will go a long way in impressing buyers. Get rid of any leftovers and be sure to clean each shelf, drawer, and corner.
- Scrub the floors. This should go without saying but it’s just too important. Crumbs and a sad-looking rug will simply turn-off anyone that tours the home, so, don’t leave it to chance.
- Shine the appliances. The dishwasher, microwave, oven, toaster, coffee maker, and all other appliances ought to sparkle inside and out. This includes the stove top and the hood, which ought to be spotless.
- Clean out the light fixtures. Dust, cobwebs, and dead bugs all collect in, around, and on light fixtures. Clean these thoroughly to make them shine and impress.
Don’t forget about the cabinets and pantry. These spaces should be uncluttered, well-organized, and cleaned.
Bath Open House Prep
Now, it’s time to tackle the bathroom, which will be a room high on buyers’ checklists. Here’s how to prep a bathroom for an open house:
- Put away all toiletries, prescriptions, and personal grooming items. Buyers will certainly cringe when visually confronted by toiletries, prescriptions, and all personal grooming items. These are something to put away, out of sight.
- Take extra care of the toilet. There’s no getting around this chore — cleaning the toilet — on and around the fixture, and, be sure to leave the lid closed. Stock the toilet paper and put the toilet brush out of sight.
- Remove any and all magazines and books. While you might have an interesting library in your bathroom, it won’t impress buyers. Like so many other items, these need to be put away.
- Deep clean every square inch. This is critical to making a first impression. Every person that walks into the space will no doubt notice mold spots, water spots, stray hairs, and any other dirty detail.
To make the best impression, replace all hand towels and the floor rug with new ones. For good measure, replace the shower curtain or scrub the doors clean until they look new.