Preparing Your Home for an Open House
Making your home look welcoming is a surefire way to raise the interest shown by buyers, and it’s especially true when it comes to open houses. If your agent is getting ready to host an open house, you can make sure it’s successful by doing some simple staging and cleaning. Follow this room-by-room checklist to leave your open house guests wanting a second look.
- Declutter your home. You might have to rent a storage unit or ask a friend or family member if you can store items in their basement or garage.
- Depersonalize your home. Displaying items like photos, awards, and framed certificates can make it difficult for homebuyers to envision themselves living in your home.
- Switch out the art. If you have personal, controversial, or abstract art, consider changing it for pieces that appeal to a broader audience.
- Eliminate signs of pets. Put away food and water bowls, toys, and beds.
- Remove any unpleasant odors from your home. Use these tips to give your home a fresh and clean scent.
- Replace any burned-out lightbulbs inside and outside of your home.
- In warmer weather, open the windows right before the open house to let in fresh air.
Kitchen and dining room
- Thoroughly clean the kitchen.
- Put away all dishes from the sink and dishwasher.
- Clear items such as toasters, blenders, dish racks, and utensils from countertops; you can replace these items with bowls of fruit or vases filled with flowers.
- Clean and reorganize your drawers, cabinets, and pantry.
- Remove magnets, coupons, calendars, and papers from the refrigerator.
- Update older cabinets with a fresh coat of paint and hardware.
- Clean trashcans. Move them somewhere else if possible.
- Clear the dining room table, leaving only the centerpiece.
- Remove extra chairs from the table.
- Clean toilets, sinks, and bathtubs.
- Put out fresh soap and a new roll of toilet paper.
- Recaulk the tub and sink, if needed.
- Hang fresh towels.
- Add a new shower curtain and rug, if necessary.
- Pack up and remove any medications or products that you don’t use regularly.
- Make sure all plumbing is working and isn’t clogged.
- Remove stains from tile and grout.
- Rearrange the furniture to make the room look larger and spacious.
- Make sure there is enough room to walk around.
- Remove any unnecessary furniture. Furniture should match; if any pieces don’t, remove them from the space.
- Add small plants to give the room some liveliness.
- Remove items from the coffee table, and move small items like remotes into a decorative box.
- Add accent pillows or a colorful throw blankets to couches or chairs.
- Open curtains and blinds to boost natural light and give the room an airy and spacious feel.
- Remove rugs to showcase any hardwood floors.
- Clean out the fireplace.
- Consider painting bedrooms a more neutral tone.
- Remove clothing from bedroom closets to make them feel larger.
- Keep jewelry and expensive items in a safe place.
- Use gender-neutral colors in all bedrooms.
- Make beds look inviting by adding a headboard, accent pillows, and a throw blanket in neutral colors like gray or brown.
- Move daily necessities into bins, drawers, or closets.
- If your bedroom is small, make sure the bed is full-size or smaller to prevent the room from feeling cramped. You can also use scaled furniture to fit the space better than large furniture.
- Clean thoroughly.
- Consider upgrading your front door with a fresh coat of paint.
- Stage your porch, patio, or deck with furniture and plants.
- Place a simple decorative welcome mat by the front door.
- Mow the lawn.
- Trim back trees, shrubs, and plants.
- Clean up your landscaping, and remove any leaves or branches from your yard.
- Power wash the siding, gutters, driveway, sidewalk, front porch, and windows.
- Replace old light fixtures.
- Fix any torn window screens.
- Clean up after your pet.
- Upgrade your mailbox to a more modern or sophisticated design.
- Store away items like toys and sporting equipment.
- Upgrade your house numbers with one of these ideas.