Thursday, September 25, 2008

Attention Sellers: Open House Tips!

In order to have a successful open house, sellers need to make sure their house is looking its best and standing out from the rest. Here are 11 tips to help your house look attractive to potential buyers:

1. The Outside Must Shine: Curb appeal is so important when selling your home, because it's the first impression a potential buyer gets of your home--it is what makes them want to take a deeper look at the property. Some ways to increase your curb appeal are: mow the lawn, trim the bushes and put out fresh mulch in the flower beds. Also, spending a couple hundred dollars on fresh exterior paint can increase the sales price by thousands. Make sure the trim is touched up too.

2. The Inside Must Look New: Okay folks, paint is cheap, so if a room is looking dingy--go ahead and give it a fresh coat of paint.

3. Make Cosmetic Repairs: Windows that are cracked, holes in the walls and tiles that are chipped send the wrong message to buyers--they figure if there are several minor flaws they can see, then there must be more serious flaws that they can't see. You may tend to overlook these things on an everyday basis, but buyers tend to be very critical and will use the little things as reasons not to make an offer; your home will sell much faster if it's in tip-top shape.

4. Let in as Much Light as Possible: Turn on all the lights, you may even want to increase the wattage, even if it's in the middle of the day. Open all the curtains. Doing so will make your home feel warm, inviting and cheerful.

5. Get Rid of All the Clutter: I don't mean stash all your extra things in a closet--get it off the property! Potential buyers have the right to inspect every room, closet and storage space in the home...and you need to give off the impression that there's plenty of room for all of their things.

6. Set the Dinner Table as if You are Getting Ready for a Dinner Party: It's time to bring out the china, the best glasses and the candles--set the table as elegantly as possible. Help your potential buyers imagine what it would be like to live in this home--how easy and fun it would be to entertain here.

7. Kitchens and Bathrooms Must be Absolutely Spotless: Shelves and countertops should be well organized and clean. Assume that people will be looking through your drawers and medicine cabinet--if there is anything you don't want people to see, remove it from your home.

8. Remove Some of Your Possessions: Spaciousness is key--you want every room of your home to look open and roomy. To achieve this, remove extra pieces of furniture, especially big, bulky pieces. Take down some of the family photos. Make your home a blank canvas, allowing your potential buyer to picture how they would live there.

9. Put Your Pets Somewhere Else: Dogs especially can be a real problem--you don't want them barking when someone comes to look at the home, this could interfere with the buyers looking at your home. Also, don't just put them next door either--dogs can sense when strangers are around and they very well could start barking then too, you wouldn't want a potential buyer to be turned off by the possibility of a loud dog next door, do you?

10. Bad Smells Kill Deals: It is important to make sure your home is clean and odor free, smells that you probably don't even notice anymore will be noticed by visitors. Use air fresheners and carpet cleaners if need be to get rid of pet odors, urine on carpets, cigarette smoke, etc. Baking cookies or lighting cookie-scented candles can send an inviting aroma throughout the house.

11. Leave: As soon as your real estate agent arrives, (do you need an agent? how about contacting me?) you should pack the kids in the car and leave the premises. Potential buyers need the opportunity to freely walk through your home without you standing anxiously by.

Okay, now you know all the things you should do to get your home ready for an open house or to put it on the market. If you have questions, feel free to contact me today or write a comment below!

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