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Open House Preparations

Jeff Kelly

Whether it's selling, buying or investing I bring a wealth of experience to the table!  I grew up in the Commercial Real Estate development and m...

Whether it's selling, buying or investing I bring a wealth of experience to the table!  I grew up in the Commercial Real Estate development and m...

Nov 5 5 minutes read

Sellers: Do Not Overlook These Easy Open House Preparations

An open house is a great opportunity for you to show your property to Realtors and potential buyers from all over. While it’s generally advised that homeowners not be present during the open house, you do have a say in how the house looks and feels for everyone who walks through that door. This is your home’s chance to shine—don’t do it a disservice by forgetting simple open house preparations that bring out its best.

Cleaner than Clean

When you’ve lived in a place for a certain amount of time, you learn to overlook the little things. However, many people who come through your open house are going to be checking behind the refrigerator and inspecting every nook and cranny trying to find something they can hate. Make sure there are no faults to be found by hiring a cleaning service to detail each room. A cleaning service sends eyes that haven’t grown accustomed to those fingerprints on the oven door or dust bunnies behind the dog’s bed—they see it all. A maid service won’t break the bank, either. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cleaning service cost is $165 nationally—a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home is looking its very best.

Once the professionals have done their job, any cleaning you do can be those nit-picky things that may or may not go unnoticed. Check all the areas people forget to clean, such as:

  • Undersides of furniture
  • Walls and baseboards
  • Tops of cabinets and picture frames
  • Door frames
  • Vents and air filters
  • Indoor plants
  • Refrigerator and oven
  • Lampshades
  • Fan blades

Pack It Up

Even though you haven’t sold your house yet, it’s time to start packing. The ideal look for an open house is that of a model home. Model homes do not have a lot of stuff just laying around. Closets are emptied, walls are cleared, and the only decorations are minimal and tastefully displayed. Start packing up items as soon as possible so your home has that clean and clear look. Plus, that cuts down on the amount of packing you’ll have to do when you finally sell the place after your wildly successful open house.

Keep the items you need for day-to-day living, but box up or wrap all the extra stuff that makes the house your home. Put them in an offsite storage facility while you’re going through the selling process. You can’t keep them in your home’s storage because that selling point is best highlighted with emptiness. Some of the items you’ll want to be sure to remove include:

  • Family photos
  • Sports memorabilia
  • Diplomas and certificates
  • Out-of-season clothes and shoes
  • Sports equipment
  • Kitchen gadgets
  • Pet accessories
  • Blankets, linens, and towels
  • Instruments
  • Books, records, and DVDs
  • Bathroom products

Board Your Babies

We all love our pets, but we shouldn’t assume others will love them as much. One of the most important things you have to do before your open house is to board your dog(s) and/or cat(s). First of all, many people are allergic to these furry friends and you don’t want anybody catching the sniffles at your open house. Second, having a bunch of unfamiliar people (and the smells that come with them) walking around in their domain will only cause anxiety for animals. Finally, pets are one of those personal things that will signal to potential buyers that this isn’t their home. Making sure they are out of sight and out of mind ensures that browsers can concentrate on your crown molding and closet space—not your adorable little fuzz ball.

An open house is a great way to drum up interest, but it needs to look its best. Hiring a cleaning service ensures all those spots you’ve gotten used to are taken care of; then you are free to go even deeper and clean those areas we often forget about. Even though you’re not moving yet, start packing personal items and move them to a storage facility. Finally, make sure your fur babies are out of the way and safe from harm by boarding them the morning of the open house.


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