When it comes time to sell your home, you can’t just do a quick cleaning to best the competition. In today’s market, buyers aren’t into project homes. What’s more, with interest rates near historic lows and homes still being affordable, buyers have the opportunity to purchase a dream home. For these reasons and to get the most out of your property investment, you need to stage your home properly and ready it for hosting open houses.
What you shouldn’t expect is to receive a purchase offer on the very same day you hold your first open house. While homes are sometimes sold at an open house, it’s not very often, and for good reason. Most qualified buyers are also careful buyers, after all, it’s a big commitment. What’s more, many homebuyers like to compare and contrast properties they’ve toured and then settle on a home.
Avoid these Open House Mistakes
Everyone knows that a home should be clean and free of clutter but, don’t think about it the same ways buyers do. That’s a huge mistake. Put yourself in a buyer’s frame of mind and then you’ll begin to see that even a spec of dirt or a little bit of clutter, no matter where it is, can be turn offs. Studies have shown the people are sensitive to practically anything that looks out-of-place or messy. For instance, just a dish or two in the sink has a profound negative impact.
“Prospective buyers won’t ignore even minor problems in a house, from broken light switches to leaky faucets, so you’ll want to have your home in tip-top shape before holding an open house. To get the best results, allocate about a month’s worth of time and enlist the aid of a Realtor to guide you through the process of maintenance and repairs. Not only will buyers remember these small things, but minor repairs can add up for a buyer, so getting those out of the way early can make your home more appealing.” —Realtor.com
Curb appeal also matters quite a bit because people form an opinion about a property in just 7 to 10 seconds. Another bit of news is that you might not care for is that buyers typically don’t like sellers to be in the home during an open house. While this might sound counterintuitive, it’s largely because it creates a certain awkwardness. This goes double for children and pets, which can send potential buyers running away.
Open House Prep Tips You can Use
To get your home ready for an open house, start with decluttering and this means every single room and every single storage space. Your goal is to reduce storage closets to about 30 percent full, to take out excess furniture, and organize the garage, attic, and other storage areas. Here are more steps to take to ready a home for an open house:
- Get the entire home deep-cleaned. While you might be able to give your home a good cleaning, it probably won’t be enough. Hire a professional cleaning service and have the entire house deep-cleaned.
- Depersonalize every room in the home. Take down and pack-up family photos, personal knickknacks, and anything else that’s personal, after all, you’ll have to do this anyway. The way to look at it is buyers want to buy their home, not your life.
- Fix everything that’s broken. This means every single thing that’s not properly working or is outright broken. Buyers will put a lot of emphasis on small things because those add-up quickly and it also makes it seem as though you don’t care enough about the property to keep it maintained.
- Buy new towels. New towels will work wonders in the bathrooms and in the kitchen. Use these only for staging-decorating purposes and pick colors that fit the decor. In addition, you might get new bedding for each bedroom. You can take all of these with you to your new home.
- Set the table. Put out your best China and set the table to give buyers a visualization of what entertaining and dining looks like in the space. Use a neutral colored tablecloth and white fabric napkins, complete with napkin rings for a better effect.
- Enhance the curb appeal. The yard should be freshly mowed and the trees trimmed, along with some new, colorful flowers.
If you’re able, install a new steel front door, or, in the alternative, paint your front door to give it a fresh, inviting look.