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18 Top Tips for Better Open Houses & Home Showings

Will Featherstone

Having the right real estate agent means having someone who is committed to helping you buy or sell your home with the highest level of expertise in y...

Having the right real estate agent means having someone who is committed to helping you buy or sell your home with the highest level of expertise in y...

Feb 7 6 minutes read

Are you thinking of selling your home soon? These open house tips can help you have more successful showings, ultimately leading to getting a great offer on your home! 

It’s important for you to show off your home's best features, and these open house selling tips will help you do just that! 

1. Remove clutter and clear off counters. 

Get rid of stacks of old newspapers or magazines, arrange and store most small decorative items, put excess furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season clothing from cramped closet space. And take out the garbage! These are just a few places to get started—you’ll want to make things look as organized and sleek as possible. 

2. Wash your windows and screens. 

This will allow more natural light into the home, and will also improve the view when potential buyers are looking outside. 

3. Keep everything extra clean. 

A clean home is the best way to make a strong first impression! A clean home shows that a house as been well-cared for. Pay attention to details—clean fingerprints from light switch plates, mop, wax and vacuum floors, clean the stove and refrigerator, and polish doorknobs and address numbers. If you can afford it, you may want to even hire a cleaning service. 

4. Get rid of smells. 

Getting your carpeting and drapes professionally cleaned can do a lot in eliminating cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows to air out the house, and light some scented candles. 

5. Brighten your rooms. 

If you have any dark rooms, replace old light bulbs with high wattage bulbs to brighten things up. Replace burned out bulbs (look out for forgotten bulbs in closets!). Cleaning walls or brushing on a fresh coat of paint can also help brighten up your home! 

6. Don't disregard minor repairs. 

Seemingly small problems (like sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or dripping faucets) might seem trivial, but they can add up and give buyers the impression that the home hasn’t been well-cared for. 

7. Tidy your yard. 

This is a great way to make a positive first impression, and one that is often overlooked! Cut the grass, rake up leaves, add fresh mulch, edge the walkways, and clean your cutters. A pot of bright flowers near the entryway can also go a long ways! 

8. Patch holes. 

Does your driveway have any unsightly holes? Repair these and reapply sealant, if applicable. 

9. Add a touch of color in the living room. 

While you don’t want this space to appear cluttered, consider adding a colored throw and/or new accent pillows to your couch. These details can help update and jazz up a room that may be a bit plain. 

10. Buy a flowering plant and put it near a window you pass by frequently.

This helps to create a welcoming atmosphere while adding a fresh, lively way to catch the eye of visitors. 

11. Make centerpieces for your tables. 

It’s important to avoid clutter, but a simple bowl of bright fruit or a vase of fresh flowers can go a long way! 

12. Set the scene. 

Adding small details with things you already own is a great way to show potential buyers what life in your home it really like. Set your dining table with fancy dishes and candles, display a game of chess in the living room, or set out wine glasses and a bottle of wine on a table by a fireplace. 

13. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light. 

If you have a view, show it off! It’s hard to potential buyers to tour a dark home, and it will make it seem as though you are hiding something. 

14. Accentuate the fireplace. 

If your home has a fireplace, set fresh logs in the fireplace, or perhaps a basket of flowers if it’s not in use. You don’t want this space to feel empty, and you want to show buyers how they can use it! 

15. Make the bathrooms feel luxurious. 

Hide away old towels and toothbrushes. When buyers see your bathroom, you want them to feel like they’re at a hotel! Add a new shower curtain, fresh towels, and elegant guest soap. Make sure any personal items are out of sight. 

16. Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. 

If it’s not possible to have someone babysit your pets for awhile, confine your pets to one room (ideally a basement) or place them in a portable kennel while people are touring your home. It’s also important to let your real estate agent know if you’re doing this, so you can avoid any unwanted surprises! 

17. Lock up valuables, jewelry, and money.  

During an open house, it’s impossible to keep your eye on people all the time, so it’s important to lock up any important or valuable items. 

18. Leave the home. 

Generally, it’s best if the sellers are not in the home during a showing. It can be awkward for potential buyers to look in your closets or bathrooms and share their opinions if you’re present. 

8 Important Open House Safety Tips

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