Host a Successful Open House!


Article By: Suzie Wilson  

Author of The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House


After the last wall is painted and tile laid in your series of home renovation projects, congratulations… You’re almost done. The last step to knocking the resale process out of the park is hosting an open house. Such an event is an effective way to get several potential buyers through your front door to behold your newly polished home, but is one that will require some extra preparation. Staging and tour-prepping your home in anticipation of the open house is a must.

To feel inspired to purchase your home, buyers must be able to envision how they and their family will make use of the space. Your home should appear inviting, but not too lived-in. Follow the guide below to guarantee the perfectly staged home and a successful open house event.

The necessities

First, take a look at your home’s curb appeal. You get one chance to make a first impression, and if potential buyers don’t like what they see as they drive up, the decision will already have been made by the time they have arrived inside. In preparation for the open house, trim your lawn, prune your shrubs and weed your beds. These small tasks will make a world of difference and keep interested buyers landing at your doorstep. According to landscape economist John Harris, yard maintenance can contribute to 28 percent of your home’s overall value.

Next, it’s time to declutter. Note that cleaning and clearing clutter are distinctly different. You can dust your knickknacks endlessly, but they will still distract buyers. Don’t risk open house attendees being turned off by an excessive amount of appliances covering kitchen counters, piles of magazines littering living room surfaces and clunky furniture occupying every square inch of extra space.

There’s a simple remedy: Start packing! You’re moving anyway, so get a head start by boxing up and storing anything you don’t need in the short term. And, don’t forget about the closets, spaces under beds, cabinets and the garage. Storage utility is a vital selling point to any property. Cluttered nooks and crannies give the impression that a home lacks necessary space for storage.

After the clutter is cleared away, then comes the floor-to-ceiling deep clean. The dust, stains, scum and smells you’ve grown accustomed to over the years will call out to your potential buyers like sirens. It is best to hire an outsider with fresh eyes for mess and professional products to tackle it.  Most homeowners spend between $115 and $227 on cleaning services. This is a relatively cheap and labor-saving option will ensure immaculate spaces that delight buyers.

In the event of a last-minute stink emergency, try these quick fixes:

Push ice cubes with salt and frozen lemon peels down the sink to clear the smell of rotting food.

Pour a bit of cheap vodka into a spray bottle and lightly mist your carpets. When the alcohol evaporates, it will take the stench with it.

Go the extra mile

For an unforgettable open house event, make your home appear to be inviting and as a blank slate for the new chapter in another family’s life by following these tips:

Remove family photos to provide buyers the vision of a neutral field in which they can plant their own roots.

Set your dining room table for a nice meal to encourage buyers’ envisioning entertaining friends in your home.

Keep the indoor temperature comfortable and open the curtains, highlighting your home’s best features with warm, natural light.

Provide refreshments, such as water, soft drinks and cookies to make buyers feel comfortable and willing to stay longer.

Leave. Buyers will feel more at ease and able to question your agent without your hovering. Find something fun to do away from home during the open house event and take your pets with you.

Following through on the aforementioned tips that commonly go overlooked when preparing for an open house will guarantee that your home is appealing and memorable to potential buyers.

Photo Credit: Pixabay