The finishing touches for an open house inspection can make all the difference to how potential buyers view the property, so make sure you tie up all the loose ends. Every single one….
Tips to get your open house right
Think of the open house as a first date with your prospective buyer; you only get one chance to make a first impression.
While it’s common knowledge to de-clutter and clean every nook and cranny in the house, what is the key to making your home stand out so that it has the best chance to sell for a great price and quickly?
Well presented suggests well maintained
It’s important to remember that a well-presented home gives buyers the impression that the property is well maintained and suggests to them that the chances of encountering hidden problems post-sale are minimal.
A well-presented home builds comfort with buyers and removes questions in their mind about the home.
You are permanently on show
Although you won’t be letting people into your home all day, every day, there is a good chance you will have people driving by to look at the home and assessing the street appeal from the minute the property hits the market.
In some cases, this is a way buyers shortlist properties, simply by driving.
If a potential home buyer likes photos of your home, they are likely to do some research on the street appeal and what other houses in the street are like before they attend an inspection.
Additionally you never know when your agent might walk through the door with the buyer that falls in love with your house. It’s had of a morning getting the kids off and you ready for work but remember to take those few minutes to get the house presented. Just in case.
Present from the VERY first day
You always have a chance to make an impression before the buyer contacts an agent, so here are some “housekeeping habits” to
get into in order to maximise your chances of drive-by buyers wanting to see more:
- Make sure your front gardens and lawns are well kept and maintained.
- Remove all junk mail and newspapers from the letterbox and yard daily or twice if possible.
- Park the cars in the garage, if possible.
- Avoid having rubbish out for collection on the kerbside longer than it needs be.
- Each night before sunset, turn on all outdoor lights.
Set a welcoming mood
You might not know what the potential home buyer is thinking, but you can do your best by making them feel positive and by creating a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere in your home.
A great way to set the mood is to think about the senses and what the prospective buyer will experience when inspecting your home. Pleasant smells are most likely to set the scene…
- Open all windows at least an hour before an inspection to chase away any ‘house smells’.
- Try placing a cinnamon stick in a cup of water in the microwave for two minutes, or if the weather is cold put a casserole in the oven on LOW, for warmer weather dust off the bread maker and start a loaf.
- To add to the mood you could play some non-offensive music in the background, keeping in mind that everyone has different tastes. Got Foxtel? Try Channel 801 upwards, it plays music too!
- Remember to adjust room temperature, making sure it is comfortable for visitors walking in and out of the house. Got a fireplace? Make sure you use it in winter.
It’s the little things that help create a great impression, focus on them. For example, spruce up cushion covers, put your newest towels in the bathroom, or even buy some new towels from a cheap high street store, and definitely clear your paperwork off your desk, kitchen bench, hall stand or anywhere it collects. These few things go a long way in creating a large but lasting impact of the house and its owners.
Other tips and ideas
- Buy fresh flowers, even if it is simply a centerpiece for the dining or coffee table.
- Straighten and align photographs and art on walls.
- Turn off all electronic devices, such as computers and televisions.
- Leave toilet seats down AND remove any marks for those buyers that look. (Trust me they do!)
- Leave all internal lights and lamps on during inspection.
- Make the beds.
- Do the washing up AND put it away.
- Put dirty clothes in a washing basket. Make sure they are not on the floor.
- Full bin in the kitchen? Yep, you got it! Empty it or put a lid on it!
A home that is a fresh, cared for, low-maintenance property is a something most people are very attracted to, so the day your home goes to market should be the best it has ever looked.
Inspection time is the moment to make your home shine and stand out from the competition and where you aim to gain the maximum price in the shortest time period. You can help the sale process enormously by making sure everything you do to present your home works for you and your agent.