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An open house starts your home sale off on the right foot. Your home’s market debut gets buyers excited and lets interested parties see what’s special about your home. However, if you don’t get your house in top shape for the open house, it could have the opposite effect.
While agents put a lot of effort into the open house, sellers have a responsibility as well. It’s the agent’s responsibility to market the home, but sellers need to make sure their house is clean and that the yard looks nice.
While it’s true that cleaning and prepping your home is no small effort, it’s worthwhile if you want the best price for your house. By getting your house in show-ready condition for the open house, you leave prospective buyers with a positive impression.
But what, exactly, does show-ready condition mean? A seller should take these five steps before their open house to ensure their home is ready to impress.
You can hire a pro to clean your carpets or rent a machine and do it yourself. Either way, it’s a critical part of open house prep. Spot clean old stains before thoroughly steam cleaning carpeting. A steam cleaner injects a cleaning solution into your carpet before extracting it along with dirt and debris. Pay special attention to high-traffic areas. Once your carpet is clean, create a rule of no shoes in the house to prevent new stains.
The carpet cleaning should have your home smelling fresher, but carpets aren’t the only source of odors. Accumulated dust can leave your home smelling stale, so start by washing the insides of cabinets and closets and dusting ceiling fans, baseboards and blinds. Next, tackle upholstery, linens, throw blankets and pillows and other soft surfaces. Launder what you can and vacuum and spot clean couches without removable covers. Dirty furniture should be thrown out or placed in storage. If musty smells continue to linger, you could have a mold problem. Follow BrightNest’s tips for inspecting for mold and managing minor mold issues.
Brightly painted walls are a fun way to bring personality into your home, but buyers are unlikely to appreciate non-neutral paint colors. Repaint unusual color choices to more subtle hues like the classic colors recommended by Better Homes and Gardens. Walls that are scuffed, stained, or discolored should also be repainted before the open house.
While it’s on the market, your home should be a blank slate so buyers can imagine themselves living in it. But if your house is filled with personal clutter, they’ll be too focused on your life to picture their own. Perform a thorough decluttering of your home, packing up or throwing away anything you don’t need between now and the day you sell. Remove highly personal décor like family photos. Organize what remains so that closets, cupboards and other storage areas appear neat.
Don’t forget to pay attention to your home’s exterior. As the first thing buyers see, it leaves a big impression. Ensure it’s a good one by tidying up your front porch. Wash the surface, buy a new welcome mat and eliminate clutter such as shoes, trashcans and yard tools. Mow the lawn, fix bare patches with new sod, and refresh landscaping plants with pruning and a layer of mulch. On the day of the open house, remove cars from the driveway.
Getting ready for the open house is a lot of work. But if you want top dollar for your home, it’s a chore you can’t afford to skip. If you have questions about open house prep, ask your agent what else you can do to ensure your home looks great on the big day.
Article provided by Suzie Wilson from HappierHome.net.