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10 Steps to Preparing Your Home for an Open House

Putting your house on the market is just the beginning of the selling process. Use the ten following tips to prepare your home for a successful open house.

  1. Clear clutter.
    Prospective buyers have a hard time visualizing their own items in your space when it’s filled with clutter. Begin packing kitchen appliances, collectibles, and other items to clear flat surfaces from clutter.
  2. Organize cabinets and drawers.
    Beyond appearing disorganized, clutter makes your space appear as if there is not enough storage. For the things you can’t get rid of in cabinets and drawers: organize, organize, organize.
  3. Neutralize odors.
    Ask a (good) friend or your Mainstreet agent for an honest opinion, because we all get used to the smells of our home. For a small investment, shampoo your carpets for a fresh smell and look. If you have pets, you may want to give them baths and clean litter boxes more often than normal.
  4. Make repairs.
    Small repairs like leaky faucets, burnt out lightbulbs, and broken window panes draw unwanted attention from vigilant prospective buyers, but can be fixed for relatively small amounts of money.
  5. Remove family photos.
    Although your family photos are precious, prospective buyers will have a hard time putting down roots in your space if they can’t envision their family growing there.
  6. Hire a cleaning service.
    Prospective buyers won’t notice if your house is fresh and clean, but they will notice dust and dirt in areas you may forget in the midst of packing.
  7. Buy new towels.
    For a small investment, you’d be surprised how much cleaner bathrooms and kitchens look with fresh linens.
  8. Set the table.
    Prospective buyers can more easily envision entertaining in your space if you set the stage for them with neutral place settings and your best dishware.
  9. Enhance curb appeal.
    For a small investment of your time or money by hiring a landscaper, trim your lawn, weed your flowerbeds and prune your shrubs. Small landscaping tasks really enhance the curb appeal of your space.
  10. Leave.
    Prospective buyers will feel more comfortable asking questions (and receiving unbiased answers) when you’re not hovering in the background. Take off for a couple hours during showings, but don’t forget your pets; some prospective buyers may not be comfortable around animals or may have allergies.