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How to Get Ready for an Open House

May 19th, 2016

shutterstock_111817019Last week we talked about protecting your valuables when you’re selling your house. Today’s blog will focus more on being ready for an open house. It’s not always convenient to move out when selling, but you want to make your house look move in ready. So what are some strategies?

The biggest time saver will be to get rid of the clutter, including some large pieces of furniture like a sectional sofa. The clutter makes it hard for visitors to picture their stuff in your space. How to remedy this situation? Start packing! You want to move anyway, so now's a good time to pack up anything that you don't need in the short-term and put those surplus items in storage. It may seem like an added expense, but it will pay off when you sell the house quickly.

And don’t forget clutter in cabinets. Pull out all the linens, and just put a few in. You want the storage space to look huge. And remember people will look in your medicine cabinets, so don’t leave anything in there like prescriptions that people will steal. Pack away the majority of your clothes to make your closets look larger and neater. And don’t forget drawers. Empty out your junk drawer because they will get looked at.

We talked last week about removing personal photos. You want people to think of themselves in your house, and not see you living in your house. Additionally, you should remove artwork that is religious or racy.

Once you’ve removed the bulk, it’s time to hire professional house cleaners.A cleaning service tackles all those dusty places you might forget: baseboards, tops of picture frames, ceiling fans. It will also make the house smell clean.

Then, keep the house clean and have a basket or a bin that you can throw your financial statements, prescriptions, photographs, spare keys, and other small valuable items into when you leave. You will also need a plan for your pets.

With an open house, you will have more time to prepare then for a showing. You’ve already fixed items that obviously needed repair, and cleaned up the front of the house to give a great curb appeal.

Ask a friend or your real estate agent to do a sniff test to see if there are any odors that need neutralizing. If you are a smoker, it is very difficult to get out the smell of stale smoke, and you may need to a professional to remove it. Your agent can mask some odors by having cookies baking in the oven during the open house.

You should also ensure you have nice towels in the bathrooms. Look into buying some new towels that are only put up for open houses and showings.

Ensure the beds are made. It’s the little details that make the difference.Decorative pillow

Pets need to go with you when you leave. And you do have to leave during the open house. Buyers don’t feel comfortable asking questions or really looking around if the seller is right there. If you have a cat, bring the litter box with you. You don’t want potential buyers to know that a pet was ever there.

Don’t count on locking a cabinet or the door to the garage. People will expect to see everything if they’re considering buying the house.

You have very little time to get people to fall in love with your house. Make your house look clean, open and inviting, and you will get a lot of offers.

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