Tricks of the Trade to Make Your Next Open House Your Last

Has your house been on the market way too long and you just can’t stand the thought of yet another open house? What gives? Why isn’t your home selling? Realtors will tell you the key to selling fast is a properly staged home.

Home staging is designed to make the home appeal to as many people as possible so that it sells fast and for the best price. You can hire a professional like me to get your home open house ready, or you can follow my 5 tips to make your next open house your last.

Declutter and Depersonalize   One of the top reasons why a great home sits on the market is because potential buyers can’t picture themselves living there. More often than not, this is because the current owner’s own items are crowding and overwhelming the space.

It’s time to pack up the family photos, children’s artwork, and any other personal items. A buyer will never be able to see themselves living in a place that stills feels like it belongs to someone else.

You also need to declutter. Maybe your family needed the 8-seater dining set but the space really only has room for a 4-seater table. Furniture that is too big for the space is a major detraction, making rooms feel small and unappealing. Consider putting your oversized pieces into storage and renting smaller pieces for the open house.

A crowded living room vs a staged one

Create Flow   Consider how buyers will walk through the space. It may seem like a simple idea, but many people don’t consider this. Everyone uses space differently, and again, you are trying to appeal to as many people as possible.

Be sure there are clear, safe pathways for people to move through each room. Make sure furniture isn’t placed too closely together, which could lead to people bumping into things. Also be sure to check that there aren’t any tripping hazards, such as an area rug that may be curled up on one corner. The last thing you want is for a potential buyer to get hurt.

Living room with clear pathways

Finish the “Honey-Do” List   Home buyers are some of the most observant people out there. They are about to make the biggest purchase of their life and this makes them extremely nervous. These nerves mean a buyer is looking for any excuse to turn down a house that isn’t “perfect.”

What does this mean for you as the home seller? It means that everything has to be checked off that to-do list.

Any project that you have been putting off for another day has to be completed before your next open house. If there is a light switch that doesn’t work, a broken tile in the bathroom, or a loose floorboard in the bedroom, a potential buyer will find it and that could mean the loss of a sale. Fixing these seemingly minor issues now can result in a faster sale and a big return on your investment.

What’s That Smell?   Just like buyers will notice any little flaw the house may have, they will notice the smell of your home immediately upon entry. Unfortunately, because you live there, you are not able to properly judge exactly what your home smells like. So how do you solve a problem if you can’t even tell it exists?

Have a close friend or family member come over prior to the open house to do an honest “sniff test.” Ask them if there are any bad odors they can detect in any of the rooms. If you have a problem area, give that space a thorough, top-to-bottom cleaning. My favorite product for a quick freshening up is Febreeze. It’s the best way to get stubborn odors out of soft items like curtains or the sofa.

And don’t forget the cliche “have cookies baking” trick that realtors love. They use it because it really does work! There’s no better way to make someone feel at home than to welcome them into a home that smells like fresh baked cookies. It instantly creates a positive feeling in the buyer and will make your home stand out among all the others.

Set Out the Welcome Mat, Literally   One of the first things new owners do upon settling into their home is to put out a welcome mat. It may seem like a simple idea, but a welcome mat out front will make it easier for a buyer to imagine themselves coming home to that front door every night. It makes the home more personal in a way that will appeal to the majority of buyers. It’s all part of the “curb appeal”. A home that looks inviting right when you pull up will make a big impact on potential buyers.

By implementing these 5 simple tips you greatly increase the chances of a fast sale, for a great price.

Still not sure you can tackle an open house on your own? Give me a call and we can set up an appointment to get your home ready to sell!

2 Comments on “Tricks of the Trade to Make Your Next Open House Your Last

  1. Love the idea of the “sniff test”! Haha … I guarantee that’s something almost no one would ever think of!

    • You’re right! Most people don’t consider this, but smell plays a huge factor in whether or not a buyer will like a home. It’s probably my favorite tip for this very reason!

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