How to Prepare Your Home for an Open House

Hosting an open house is an excellent way to showcase your property to potential buyers. These promotional events are professional, yet retain a low-pressure atmosphere, making them the perfect way to attract new and valuable contacts to your listing.

Your real estate agent will likely recommend holding an open house early on in the marketing process. As the seller, you won't be present during the actual event, however, you will want to prepare your property to maximize your home's appeal.

Not sure where to start? Here are six simple tricks that can help make your open house stand out from the crowd.

Improve Your Curb Appeal

First impressions matter, and in real estate, it's no different. The first time a potential buyer sees your home can greatly influence their feelings towards the property - positively or negatively.

Asking people not to judge a book by its cover is wishful thinking! If the exterior looks worn down and neglected, expectations of its interior simply won’t be that high, so work from the outside in!

By touching up the landscaping and other necessary exterior maintenance, your open house will be sure to make a good impression upon first sight, leaving potential buyers excited to get inside.

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Rent a Storage Unit

Once the exterior has been spruced up, it's time to move indoors. The first thing you'll want to do when getting ready for an open house is to rid yourself of the unwanted junk inside of your home.

Clutter makes your home look smaller, so you'll need to clean up and make space. Experts recommend renting a storage unit to move unwanted clutter or extra things out of your home prior to hosting an open house event so that the interior looks more spacious.

You might even want to store a few pieces of furniture, too. Too much furniture might make a room feel small and cramped. Having more room to roam and explore can make a positive impression on potential buyers, who prefer to see an open, inviting space.

Stage the Home

After you've decluttered, it's time to set up your space. In most cases, staging the interior of your home for an open house event can benefit from professional help.

Set up a consultation with a home stager, who will tell you everything you need to do to get your home ready for photos or an open house event.

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Sometimes, a stager will simply declutter your home and rearrange furniture to make a home’s interior appear more pristine. In other cases, they may recommend you rent furniture to replace or add to the items you currently have.

By following a home stager’s guidelines, you’ll end up with an impressive interior design, improve your home's flow and ultimately, increase the property's appeal to potential buyers.

Make It a Feast for the Senses

The best open houses are immersive experiences. The idea is to thrill the senses of your visitors in a way that scrolling through online photos never could. Consider all of the details, both large and small. Start by offering refreshments, to help guests feel welcome and at ease. If it's a nice day out, open a window to let in the gentle aromas of spring.

Then, work off of your home's strengths. For example: let's say your kitchen was just fully renovated. You might consider having a professional chef make hors d'oeuvres in the kitchen during the event. This not only provides entertainment and it keeps your guests fed and happy, but it also shows off the possibilities that your impressive new kitchen has to offer.

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Offer a Brochure

A professional, full-color brochure that highlights the home’s best features is a must-have for any open house. This extra marketing step gives buyers something to remember the property by after the event is over.

A good brochure will include key information like the price, address and contact information in easy-to-find places. Offering tangible media (such as a brochure) is essential to helping buyers remember the details of your home, as it's so easy to confuse properties if you're seeing multiple properties within a short period of time. Talk to your agent about the marketing material he or she will be using.

Market Your Open House Well

In this digital age, marketing your open house event online is an absolute must. It doesn't matter how amazing your event is if no one knows it's happening!

Your agent should share the event with their leads, past clients and other real estate agents, however, don't be afraid to share the information through your networks, to help it spread further. This is especially true in the luxury market (or for a home that's priced above the median) when every impression really counts.

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