Preparing for an Open House
Every seller wants her home to sell quickly and bring top dollar. While there are some factors you can't control, like neighborhood popularity and market fluctuations, you can help your house put on its best face for showings and open houses. If you want to sell your home, here are some tips to prepare your house and turn it into an irresistible home.
1. Before any physical preparations, you first need to prepare yourself emotionally.
Begin to dissociate yourself, and decide to let go of your attachments to the home. From now on, this is a house you really want to sell, not your own beloved home.
2. It's important that potential buyers can imagine calling your house "home," too.
Make it easier for them by de-personalizing the space. Remove personal photos and family heirlooms. Buyers should be allowed to connect with the space, and to imagine displaying their own photos and artifacts. You want buyers to think, "I could see myself living here."
3. It's no surprise that you'll want a tidy house for a showing, but what about those hidden areas of the home? Buyers need to look everywhere; they will open cupboards and peer into closets. So, make sure storage areas are organized, and that coats hang neatly in hall closets. Stack dishes and re-arrange kitchen drawers. Tidy other stored items, like books, games or CD's. Bathrooms and kitchens should be especially clean, with counters clear of miscellaneous personal items and knick-knacks. Don't forget the outside of the home. Give your house curb appeal by trimming the lawn, sweeping the front walk, and artfully arranging outdoor furniture.
4. Now is the time to take care of those bothersome little repairs you've been putting off for years.
Buyers will notice the flaws that you've grown accustomed to. From replacing light bulbs, to cleaning scuff marks off walls, to replacing missing tiles in the bathroom, or fixing the broken screen door, take care to repair all the minor problems with the house before the open house.
5. While you may have long determined which aspects of your home you love, having a fresh set of eyes scrutinize its best features is a smart idea. If you want to sell your home, take the time to walk through it methodically with your real estate agent. Together you can point out which features of the home should be accentuated...and which elements should be downplayed. Does your home have a wonderful view? Draw attention to it by sprucing up window treatments and arranging furniture to draw the eye toward the windows.· Is the kitchen small and cramped? Make the most of it by lighting the space well, clearing counters of debris and displaying a vase of fresh flowers.
6. If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you when you sell your home, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, he won't want it. Once you tell a buyer he can't have an item, he will covet it, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.
7. Finally, when it comes time for the open house, try to avoid being home.
Not only does it make buyers uncomfortable, but it can interfere with your real estate agent's sales process. Whether you head to the office or just out for a walk with the dog, you can rest assured that in your absence, your house will look enticing to its new owners!