How to Prepare your Home for an Open House
As your home starts to get noticed by potential buyers, your REALTOR® Associate may want to arrange an Open House. This is typically an opportunity for prospective buyers to view your home in a casual environment. Open Houses attract a diverse attendance of prospective buyers and can be a great opportunity to display your home. Just like any kind of home showing, be prepared to have a clean home that’s ready for discerning guests! Here are some worthwhile tips that Real Estate Professionals recommend to get your home in shape for showings and open houses.
Depersonalize your space. It may be difficult to view your home through an objective lens, but try to take a step back and discern what needs to be put away. You don't want anything to get in the way of potential buyers imagining themselves living in your home, so try to declutter your bathroom, bedroom, and other rooms with a heavy concentration of personal items. Let visitors visualize their morning routine without having to incorporate your prescription for toe–hair mites into their elaborate mental fantasy.
Banish the kids and pets. Let Fido babysit the kids for an afternoon in the park (with an adult chaperone of course). It may seem harsh, but children and animals underfoot can make it difficult for prospective buyers to make a full survey of your home in peace. Children's and pet toys should be stored away out of sight in baskets or storage bins to avoid mess. Take special care to deep clean litter box areas and eliminate any traces of pet odour from your home.
Maximize accessible space. You should be able to walk easily through all rooms without having to consciously avoid sharp corners or push aside chairs and tables. Leave enough room around large pieces for visitors to comfortably tour your home. Aim to exhibit as much liveable space as possible — particularly on the floor — so try and stage your furniture running along the walls. This should leave visitors with more space to view windows, radiators, and fixtures up close.
Finally, get a second, third, and fourth opinion. Invite your friends and family to come walk through your house. Get them to act as potential buyers and critique your job “staging” your home. Does the house feel light and spacious or dark and cramped? Is there enough room for groups of people to walk through your home? Lure them in with snacks and refreshments in return for honest feedback and spreading the word about your upcoming sale.
A successful open house can introduce your home to the perfect interested buyer. Make it count by turning your space into a house where buyers can easily picture themselves living and minimizing obstacles for easy viewing.