I was hoping that HGTV had disspelled the myth that the smell of freshly baked cookies or the right scented candle was the key to a successful showing or open house. Unfortunately, there are still some people stuck in that mode. There are really only TWO things within a sellers control for a positive open house:
1) You must overly clean your house. I don't mean just vacuum and dust. I mean degrime your faucets, clean the tile grout, the burner pans on your oven, the handles on your frigerator door--clean it all. It is a must in today's competitive market!
2) Declutter. Some owners have done a great job at depersonalizing and getting rid of knick knacks. However, there is still a fair amount of daily life that comes with clutter that you should remove for showings and open houses.
- Clear counter tops of the utensil holders, small appliances (toasters, can openers, etc), and cutting boards. When in doubt, clear it all out.
- Don't have sponges or hand towels or even dishracks in the sink.
- Pet food and water dishes should be out of sight.
- Office areas should look organized and very streamlined. I would hide as much as you can!
You can bring all these things back out to live in your house...just have a place for them for when potential buyers are coming through.
It's important to remember, too, that potential buyers often look behind shower curtains, in cupboards and pantries and in closets. You can "shove" it all in there, but it should still look organized. Otherwise it truly is a charade and buyers don't like to feel like they are being "faked out".
Good luck and go get 'em!