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Tips for a Successful Open House

Tips for a Successful Open House

Before the hordes arrive to judge your home, there are a few steps you can take to make sure

your showing goes off without a hitch. Before you start any of these tasks though, there’s an

important step you need to take for yourself: Remember this is no longer your “home,” but a

property you’re hoping to sell. It can be an emotional process, but try to think realistically and

relinquish a bit of control to your real estate agent and the touring potential buyers. But before

they arrive:

1. Clean It Up

Buyers respond more positively to clean homes than dirty, cluttered ones. Make that

bathroom look as clean as it did when you moved in — maybe even cleaner — and then

tackle the kitchen, living room, and bedrooms. While you’re at it, do a bit of reorganizing

and decluttering. Remember when your master bedroom was clear of a toy chest? Go

back to that time. It’s time pack a few boxes and remove them from the viewing area. If

the house is smelling a bit stale, or too lived-in, a bit of air freshener would do the trick

— but don’t overdo it. People are very sensitive about smells, so it’s always best to err

on the side of caution and use air neutralizer. For the same reason, skip the candles.

2. Mind The Curb Appeal

To be lured inside where they can appropriately appreciate the recently remodeled

kitchen, the buyers have to be impressed or intrigued by the exterior of the home. Walk

the exterior of the home and look for chipping paint, dirty siding, and other easily fixed

issues. Place some potted plants or windowboxes to give the entry some greenery and

replace aging fixtures to set the stage.

3. Catch Up On Maintenance

Have you been putting off repairing that torn screen? Or postponing changing the

lightbulbs in the laundry room? It might sound counterintuitive to spend money on a

house you’re no longer intending to live in, but now is the time to make the extra effort to

show the potential buyers that your house has been well-maintained and won’t require

much costly upkeep when they move in.

4. Make It Comfortable

After you’re done running around the house, making sure the house is cleaned, the

clutter is cleared, and everything smells acceptable, don’t forget to showcase one of the

main features of your home: its comforts. Light a fire in the fireplace, open curtains to let

light stream in, and turn on a bit of soft music. (Easily prepared snacks and beverages

set out wouldn’t hurt, either.) If it’s nice outside, open the windows for a breeze. Let them

see why you enjoyed living there in the first place.

5. Take A Long Walk (And Take Your Pets, Too)

Despite your first instincts to be there to answer any questions about the home, it’s

probably best for you to plan to be elsewhere during the open house. You have an

emotional attachment to your home, and your buyers know that, so it might make them

uncomfortable and prevent them from asking honest questions and leaving honest

feedback. Since you’re heading out, take your pets with you. Potential buyers might be

offput by the potential damages and smells inflicted on a home by pets. And beforehand,

pick up all of the cat and dog toys, repair any damages they might have incurred, and rid

the yard of “evidence.”

With all of your busywork done, enjoy your afternoon away, and wait for the offers to roll in.

Author Lizzy Manthe


Lizzy Manthe is a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO(



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