Selling a house is an emotional journey that begins with a need to transform your space into someone else’s forever home. To best find success with your open house, you need to prepare your property for the preferences of new buyers by eliminating all those years of wear and tear, making upgrades, and staging like a pro.
But don’t feel overwhelmed: we’ve got you covered with five ways to ready your property for a smooth-sailing open house.
#1: Determine Your Market
It’s difficult to prep your home effectively if you’re not sure what kind of buyer might be interested in your property. Consider your neighborhood: are you in an up-in-coming spot with hip local restaurants and coffee shops sprouting up down the street, or are you part of a quieter and newer suburban community? These two locales will appeal to two types of buyers.
Trendier neighborhood shoppers might be looking for neutrality where they can add their own style, whereas a new family might be more invested in the “bells and whistles” of updated fixtures and appliances. With your target market in mind, you can begin the process of staging for an open house.
#2: Clean out and throw out
Owning a house usually means an accumulation of “stuff” over the years, and it's exactly this “stuff” that’s unappealing to potential buyers. To make sure your open house guests can envision themselves in the space, you must remove clutter.
Donate or store duplicates of any item; use trendy storage dividers or containers in kitchen cabinets and drawers to keep things tidy, and clear out closets completely. Don’t forget to go through the garage, too, because it’s likely to become the dumping ground for unneeded items.
#3: Stage What You’ve Got
Once you’ve lifted the weight of all that extra junk off your shoulders, you’re left with only your finest furniture and décor pieces. Deep clean your home as best as possible, making sure to go through all the nooks and crannies you’d usually skip.
Then, consider arranging your home according to two tenants: maximizing space and minimizing your history. Remove and box up any family photos or heirlooms from view so that buyers are able to visualize themselves in the home, and repaint any walls that stray from warm neutral tones.
If you can, arrange big furniture away from walls, as it gives the illusion of a larger room. Replace small touches like bathroom soap and towels and the throw blanket for the couch. Finally, leave a bouquet of fresh flowers in the kitchen to give that beautiful, clean scent.
#4: Spruce Up the Exterior
With the interior sorted, focus your energy on the landscaping of the yard and the exterior house itself. Power wash your exterior walls to wipe away dirt and grime and consider adding a fresh coat of neutral paint to brighten up the property. Pot new flowers and tend the lawn; maybe even add some easy improvements to the decor, like hanging trendy string lights or arranging an outdoor lounge area.
#5: Consider Specific Renovations
Finally, if the previous steps don’t seem like enough to secure that successful open house, consider making some larger changes in your home with simple but effective renovations. Certain updates to your home have a good return on investment, like redoing your bathroom with new tile or replacing or repainting outdated kitchen cabinets. It may require more upfront investment to do these projects, but they will increase the overall value of your home and make your property a quicker sale.
With those five tasks completed, you’re ready to host your open house. On the day of, pull open the curtains, set some snacks on the table, and have a day out on the town while prospective buyers swoon over your clean, clutter-free and renovated space. Good luck fielding those offers!