6 Must-Do’s Before Your Open House
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An open house is a great opportunity to showcase the beauty of your home to potential buyers, but it isn’t just as easy as plopping a sign in the front yard. A successful open house will depend on careful planning and preparation to bring the most positive attention. You’ll also need to set your emotions aside. This means moving from viewing it as “your home” to “your product.”
Here are six things you should be working on before you consider putting out that “For Sale” sign.
1. Improve Your Curb Appeal - According to renovation expert Bob Vila, first impressions can add up to 20 percent of the value of your home. Not to mention, some buyers will drive up to an overgrown yard and a faded front door and drive away before even entering. Make sure to do the following:
Trim overgrown trees and shrubs.
Plant flowers for a pop of color.
Freshen up your front door with a coat of paint and trendy hardware.
Replace your doormat.
Place a potted plant near your door.
Power wash the sidewalk and entryway.
Power wash your driveway.
Repair any old fencing.
Replace an old mailbox with a fresh look.
If you really want to impress buyers, you may want to bring in a landscaping professional to create an outdoor space home buyers will love. You can find landscaping professionals on freelance job sites who can help you create a plan for your yard.
2. Fix What’s Broken - Buyers are quickly turned off by things that aren’t working. It can be an indication to them that your home is not kept in good order. For example, a peeling roof will turn some buyers away before they even walk through the door. Similarly, an unstained dry rotting deck just looks like another project to home buyers. Most home buyers are looking for a move-in ready property without facing lots of extra work.
According to the experts at Realtor.com, you should consider hiring a home inspector before your open house. This will show potential buyers you’ve tackled home repairs in advance.
3. Depersonalize - If your stairway is embellished with personal photos of your family, now would be a good time to take them down, patch the holes, and add a fresh coat of paint. Move room to room and look for things that are personal and remove them. Buyers want to be able to visualize your home as their new haven, and that’s hard to do when they’re staring at images of your family.
4. Upgrades - Old-style light fixtures, outdated appliances and decades-old cabinet hardware are some great places to start. Buyers are looking for homes that feature the latest trends. Talk with your realtor about where best to start when considering upgrades and what will give you the most bang for your buck. For example, HGTV reports that a kitchen is a “sure-fire way” to improve your home’s value. In most cities, buyers will easily recoup 100 percent of their investment on minor kitchen upgrades.
5. Declutter - If your closets and drawers are overstuffed with things, it’s easy for buyers to think the space is too small. Take time to clear countertops, clean cabinets and closets, remove excessive decorations, and commit to other general decluttering. A successful sale will count on buyers falling in love with your home, not your stuff.
6. Don’t Forget the Finishing Touches - There’s a few last-minute touches that make your house more appealing to potential homebuyers. Consider:
Baking a fresh batch of cookies.
Providing beverages, hot and cold.
Having a fresh vase of flowers by your open house flyers.
Open all the blinds/curtains and let in as much natural light as possible.
Lock away any valuables.
Buyers are looking for reasons to not pay your asking price. Failing to commit yourself to readying your home for sale gives home buyers leverage or a reason to avoid buying your home entirely. Take time to prepare your home before you set that sign out, and you’ll be ensuring you get a quick sale at a great price.
Article submitted by Amy Collett.