An open house inspection is an excellent opportunity to present your house at its best to as many buyers as possible. Open homes usually last around an hour, and the great thing about drawing all of the interested buyers through the door within this short window of time is that it generates a buzz of interest and a sense of competition.
Opening your home to all interested buyers on a set day also means you can put all of your energy into preparing your property – inside and out – and showcasing it at its very best. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to be able to picture themselves living there.
If you really want to make your open home inspection count, never under-estimate the importance of preparation. Try to look at your home through the eyes of a potential buyer and think about what you can do to present it at its best. It might sound like a lot of hard work, but a few small changes can go a long way. When presenting a house for sale, you can actually add value to your home with some minor home improvements and subtle house styling.
Professional house styling is an excellent way of showcasing your property in the best possible light, and strategic home staging can help to intentionally highlight its major selling points. This might involve re-arranging your current furniture or hiring furniture from a professional property stylist who knows how to make buyers fall in love the moment they walk through the door! If you want to drive more offers, and maximum profit from your sale, find out more about home improvements that add value and home staging that will wow your buyers. Below, you will find some of our tips on the little things you can do before your open house inspection to add value to your home – with or without an interior stylist.
• During the showing, open all blinds and curtains to let in plenty of natural light so that your rooms feel bright, airy and spacious.
• Use lighting to create a cosy and homely atmosphere, and to highlight the best aspects of each room.
• Avoid overhead lighting that can make rooms look stark and characterless.
• The careful arrangement of lamps can help smaller rooms feel bigger, and large rooms feel more cosy and intimate.
• Use lighting to draw the eye towards the prime “living areas”, like a breakfast or dining area, chairs by a fireplace, or a cosy snug.
• Make sure the kitchen is as clean and tidy as it can be.
• Clear kitchen surfaces of any clutter or unnecessary items.
• Remove personal photos, messages, reminders or artwork from the refrigerator to help buyers begin to picture the kitchen as their own.
• Thoroughly clean and tidy the bathrooms.
• Remove clutter from surfaces, sink areas, around the bathtub, and in the shower, keeping only the essentials.
• Remove kids’ bath toys or store neatly.
• Hang clean, dry towels in just one or two colours.
• Check caulking around bathtubs and showers, and repair if necessary.
• Use candles or air fresheners to make the room smell fresh.
• Clear surfaces and remove clutter.
• Rearrange or remove some furniture to make rooms feel as big and spacious as possible.
• Refresh the paint in any rooms that look tired or scuffed.
• Replace faded or peeling wallpaper.
• Steam clean carpets and curtains if necessary.
• Clean your windows, inside and out.
• Repair worn or damaged woodwork, such as skirting.
• Work your way through a checklist of minor repairs, such as doors and windows that stick or creak, loose door knobs, and broken light switches.
• Remove unnecessary clutter from your attic, basement and closets (you may want to consider a garage sale, or putting some items into storage while presenting your home for sale).
• Look at your house from a buyer’s perspective and think about first impressions.
• Make sure your front entrance looks clean, neat and welcoming.
• Paint or replace your front door if it looks tired, dated or worn.
• Re-touch the paint on external trim, shutters, and any other exterior features that are in need of a refresh.
• Clear gutters and check for dry rot.
• Check the condition of the roof and make small repairs, such as replacing loose tiles.
• Keep “curb appeal” in your mind at all times!
• Pull up weeds, lay some fresh mulch and consider adding a few attractive plants.
• Trim vegetation around windows, doors and decking to give a neat impression and show off architectural details.
• Move garbage cans into the garage, as well as old building materials and any other clutter, so that the perimeter of the house is clear and tidy.
• Prune overgrown bushes and trees.
• Keep the lawn freshly cut and fertilized.
• Clear patios or decking of things like barbecues, garden games and toys.
Learn more about how to approach a negotiation, based on your goals and priorities. Understand how and when to adjust your position in order to achieve the best outcome from your sale.
Once the dust settles and the sale price is agreed, what happens next? Learn more about exchange of contracts, the cooling-off period, conditions, settlement and the move itself.