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The Art of the Open House: Preparation Tips for Sellers
There are a lot of considerations when it comes to selling a home. Putting your house on the market can be stressful in a myriad of ways, and preparing your house for viewings is an art of its own. But according to HGTV, home buyers are only looking for three things: an emotional connection with the home, move-in ready conditions, and value for their buck. Here are a few tips on how to get your home open-house ready and lure potential buyers.
When prepping your home for an open house, don’t forget the basics.
Remove clutter. Everything you do at your open house contributes to your home’s overall atmosphere. Removing clutter is an important first step. Ensure there are no piles of unnecessary junk, magazines, or tools visible around the house. It gives an impression of stagnancy and chaos, and is not very inviting.
Clean Thoroughly. Once you’ve removed the clutter, cleaning is of the utmost importance. As US News reports, your house must be pristine. This means getting into corners, deep cleaning carpets if necessary, and sweeping basements and attics, so you may want to consider hiring a professional to clean. On average, most homeowners can expect to spend between $100 – $200 on cleaning services but check your local area for an accurate quote. Hiring a housekeeping service is a worthwhile investment if it makes your look and feel fresh.
Remove Pets. You may be convinced that everybody loves your 70-pound German Shepherd, but remember that it’s all about creating an inviting atmosphere. Your pet might scare people away, get agitated, or cause damage to the house. That’s why it’s best to get any dogs or cats out of the home entirely on open house day.
Take Down the Graduation Pictures. You might want to show off your wonderful family, but removing personal items actually allows buyers to project their potential memories into the home.
First impressions last forever. Utilize the senses when staging your home.
Lights. Strategically placing lights or lamps around the house can create a welcoming atmosphere. The Spruce suggests lighting makes a strong impression on buyers by highlighting spaces.
Curb Appeal. The first impression begins from afar. Before you open up your house for viewing, ensure you invest in some landscaping and special touches to the outside of the home. Repaint the front doors, remodel walkways, or use flowers and trees to dress up the entrance.
Furniture. The craft of staging entails appealing to the buyer’s imagination. Your furniture is part of the atmosphere you’re creating, so consider removing or rearranging it in order to open up more space or highlight certain aspects of the home.
Details Sellers Often Overlook
The more detail oriented you are in approaching the staging and open house preparations, the more likely it is to be successful.
Create the Right Impression. According to The Balance, you should remove items that are not for sale. If your washer and dryer are not part of the sale, then simply remove them instead of having to explain that they are not part of the deal.
Flyers and Signs. You obviously want people to attend your open house, so print color flyers with good photographs of your staged home. Also invite friends and family, even if they don’t plan on buying. This creates a sense of curiosity in the neighborhood, and lures in others who may actually be interested in buying your home.
Treat Your Guests. In addition to enticing them visually, treating your guests is a good way to associate their experience with your home as a positive one. Set up a snack table that invites people to come in, ask questions, and tour the home.
Sometimes, sellers forget that they must see their house as a product, but it’s important to detach from your home as you are selling it. The more you depersonalize it and the more fun you have with staging it, the more receptive buyers will be. Your open house should focus on the atmosphere you create and showing off the unique qualities of the house.
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Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.
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