Open Houses - Helping to Make Yours Stand Out

By
Real Estate Agent with MKB, Realtors 0225242718

Make Sure Your Home Stands Tall in a Competitive Market

Home sellers today must convince a new era of buyers returning to the market that their homes stand for value and quality.

The time-honored open house event remains a terrific way to expose your property to many consumers and gain distinction from the competition. While your real estate professional will advertise and manage the event, it is up to you to ensure that your home is seen in the best light possible. Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression, so approach your open house event as your property’s showcase. Here are several ways to make your property shine, inside and out.

Start with the outside. Do a visual check of the front of the house from across the street. Does your property have curb appeal? It should look inviting, with a trimmed lawn and flowerbed and a freshly painted front door. Polish door handles and knockers and replace worn items such as a rusty doorbell. Consider adding a new doormat and flowering plants at the entrance. Don’t forget to wash your windows and clean any oil or rust spots from the driveway.

Be sure to inspect the side and back yards. Add some flowering plants to the back as well. Clean and rearrange the outdoor furniture to look inviting. Put away gardening tools, and tidy around the grill area.

Now focus on the inside of the home where cleanliness, space, smell and lighting are vital. First get your house in tip-top condition by cleaning and clearing away clutter. Steam clean and vacuum the carpet. Make sure your floors are waxed and shiny. Touch up nicks on walls and make sure the porcelain sinks and tubs and metallic fixtures shine.

Be conscious of any lingering odors such as smoke, pets or strong-smelling foods. You may need to air out your home prior to your open house event. Consider grinding fresh lemons in the garbage disposal. And don’t forget to empty all trash containers.

Look at your countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms and the tops of your bureaus. Do they seem cluttered? Clear away and store as much as possible. You want your home to seem spacious.

Next, set the mood. Let your prospective buyers picture your home as their own. Rearrange the furniture so that rooms look more spacious, or consider removing furniture and accessories.

Lighting is also important to creating a desirable atmosphere. Bright lights provide a cheerful environment and make a small space appear larger. Pull back all the drapes and open the blinds. Turn on all the lights. Make sure all light sockets have fresh bulbs. Use softer lights for rooms in which you want a warm, cozy feeling.

Don’t forget little touches such as fresh flowers, lighted candles in the bathrooms, new logs in the fireplace, or a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter. You may even want to set your dining-room table with color-coordinated table settings.

Home buying is steeped in emotion. Sellers shouldn’t rely on buyers to use their imagination; they must capture buyers’ imagination. Remember that buyers may see seven or eight homes in a single day. The most memorable home will be the one that seemed the brightest, the most spacious and the most cheerful.

Comments (4)

Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

I have seen open house agents in my neighborhood fly into the driveway five minutes before the start. Nothing spells trainwreck better than a last minute agent.

Mar 11, 2011 01:21 PM
Valerie Osterhoudt
Johnson Real Estate, Inc. - Cromwell, CT
ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889

Bill, I'm having an open house this weekend.   In the back yard of this home there are two tree swings.  I thought I would bring some stuffed bears or two Large dolls and put them on the swings.  If nothing else it will be cause for conversation.

Mar 11, 2011 01:24 PM
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi Bill - This is great advice to a seller, but since you have it set for "members only", few sellers will see it.  I recommend that you change it to "public" viewing, and many sellers will benefit.  Excellent post!

Mar 11, 2011 01:24 PM
Alan Morris
Sierra Pacific Mortgage - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh Durham Home Loan Pro - 919-906-1373

Great info, Bill.  I can stand to do some of this myself - want to come over my house and help?  Just kidding, but sounds like I'm going to be busy.  Want to hear more great info.

May 04, 2011 12:22 PM