Before you host an open house, there are five important items on your to-do list that you’ll need to check off if you want potential buyers to become actual buyers. Your Florida home needs to be inviting, clean and give buyers a feeling that this could be their home.
Clean & Declutter
Not to be obvious, but a house will not get what it is worth if it is not clean. When cleaning, think of the things you might not clean on a regular basis, but that will make a huge impact on the overall look. Items like your baseboards and trim, window screens and your front door might not look that dirty, but once they are cleaned, you’ll see the wow factor appear. De-cluttering by removing at least half of the stuff sitting on countertops, shelves and on top of the fridge will also make your home seem larger and less messy. Store everything in boxes and move it out of the house. Potential buyers will even examine the state of your storage rooms and if everything is neat and organized, they’ll believe their stuff can look that way too.
Take the emotion out of your home
While you love that 20” x 24” canvas of your children at the park, potential buyers will only see that this is your home. You want buyers to believe that this will be their home, so it needs to be as emotionless as possible. They want to imagine their Grandma’s urn on top of the fireplace and not your child’s bronzed baby shoes. Stage your home to look like a show home, something that grabs buyers into believing they are the only ones who have ever enjoyed that home. Remove all personal photos off the walls, get rid of children’s artwork from the fridge and stash away anything that says “this is my home”.
Make your home welcoming
You don’t want buyers to walk in and then turn around and leave, so make your home welcoming enough for them to stay as long as possible. Get a new welcome mat, new linens and pillows and a few bouquets of flowers to freshen up the place and distract from any of the weaker points of your home. Turn on all the lights and open the curtains and blinds so potential buyers feel the space is light and bright. Ensure that the temperature is set at a comfortable setting as even feeling too cold or hot might turn off a prospective buyer. If you’ve got air conditioning, you’ll definitely want to use it here!
Make your home smell good
Do not overpower your home with Air-Wick fragrances, but instead ensure your home smells clean and not of pets, smokers or bad food smells. If you have a gentle plug-in with a mild scent, put it near the front door. For something more natural, bake some cookies before your open house (you can even leave them out!) or boil some citrus fruits on the stove a few hours prior to the open house. There are some great recipes out there for DIY air fresheners that won’t overpower the people entering your home.
Leave and take your pets and kids with you
The last and most important tip for ensuring a smooth and successful open house is to leave and take your kids and pets with you. Homebuyers don’t want to see you or Fluffy as it could make them uncomfortable enough not to look thoroughly through the home. They may also make assumptions to your situation (getting divorced or lost job?) and think you’ll take less for your home. Plus, potential buyers seeing kids or cats might think there is damage in the home they don’t know about. It can be a total turn-off.
If you are looking to list your house in the near future and want help from someone who is an expert in open houses, feel free to contact me to discuss.