Preparing for the Open House
As a seller, your goal is to put your house's 'best foot forward' for each and every open house or showing that is scheduled. Getting the house show-ready might seem overwhelming, especially if you have kids and pets, or are just typically on-the-go. The key is to plan ahead and break down your to-do list into manageable chunks.
Game plan. As soon as you place your home on the market, you should have a plan in place for getting the kids, other family members and pets out of the house when a showing pops up or an open house weekend is scheduled. Have a few babysitters on call and consider what it would take to board or kennel your pet - or have a specific place to keep them so they aren't roaming the house when the potential buyers arrive. Having this plan in place beforehand is crucial to eliminating some stress when your REALTOR® calls to announce a showing.
De-clutter. Even if you've done it before, there is always room for more decluttering! Refrain from putting that extra 'stuff' into a closet, too. Buyers are definitely going to open cabinets and closet doors and you want them to see the space available, not your pile of books or sports equipment. You may even want to consider storing extra items elsewhere while your home is on the market. Get a small box or container for each room where you can place personal items off of sinks and nightstands to store out of the way when a showing is scheduled.
Clean. You'll need to spend extra time each week (even if you don't know of a showing or open house being scheduled) dusting and cleaning. Pay attention to dust on fixtures and appliances and toothpaste spatter on sinks and mirrors. Be diligent about keeping the refrigerator clean as well. Buyers are definitely going to look inside! Wipe down storm doors, windows and window sills. Vacuum regularly, and especially the day of or before a showing.
Fresh linens. Consider purchasing fresh, fluffy towels to display in the bathrooms - just for the showings and open houses. Once the showing is over, pack those fresh towels back up and keep them clean until the next time. Go the extra mile and have a few 'show-ready' comforters or blankets to place on the bed in your master and guest bedrooms.
Lights. Before you exit your house, make sure lights are on and window shades are open (in the daytime) -- this creates an inviting, bright and warm atmosphere, and will help make that great first impression.
For more tips like this, check out HouseLogic's blog post, 'How to Have an Open House.' here: http://buyandsell.houselogic.com/articles/open-house-timeline-countdown-successful-sale/
You should also check out one of our previous blog posts all about home staging: http://www.mibor.com/blog/2014/11/14/buyers/why-stage/
Happy Buying and Selling!