Photo credit: paulbr75
You’ve decided to sell your home and your real estate agent wants to schedule an open house. Can you get it in shape in a short time? While you may have heard that open houses only result in “less than 2 percent of all home sales,” it’s still an advantageous opportunity to showcase your home. Take these five steps to get started.
- Plan in Advance For Your Big Day
Once it’s set, don’t just clean and hope for the best. You’ll need to do your homework and put in elbow grease if you want to show off your house. Create a timeline of events to prepare for it.
If you own a dog, Realtor Philip Natasi of Rodeo Realty suggests that you make plans for him not to be around on the day of your event. Do not make the mistake of locking him in the yard or keeping him behind a fence. If Fido can’t come with you, boarding is an ideal way to hide your dog from potential homebuyers. You also should put away Fido’s toys and other items. You love your dog, but everyone else may not want any trace of a pooch in their potential new home.
- Check Out Local Competition
Find comparable homes that are currently for sale and visit their open houses. The more you can visit with others, the better. Review what makes visitors “ooh” and “ahh.” If there’s no open house, drive by the actual property to check out its curb appeal and size. Be sure to keep track of whether these homes sell for the asking price. Next, match your home’s updates to what you find. If you can’t, you may need to lower your asking price.
The next items are your ticket to beating out the competition with your open house.
- Declutter and Depersonalize Your Home
First, you’ll want to declutter any items that you have around your home - this doesn't just mean knickknacks. Clear out old and useless items from basements, closets, and the garage. Be ruthless with throwing out things you don’t need. You can donate things that are in good shape to charity. You can also host a yard sale before your open house, but take care that your lawn doesn’t get trampled.
no framed photos, no names on rooms, no block letters with family names. It’s time to remove any personalized items and photos, and things like pet or baby toys.
- Deep Cleaning
The next step is a deep cleaning. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service that can power wash the outside of your home including gutters, decks and fencing. You may also want to hire interior house cleaners to make your home spotless. The average cost for this service is only about $160, which is a worthwhile investment for enticing potential buyers to make an offer on your home.
- Budget For Updates And Staging
You’ll probably need a few repairs and a fresh coat of paint at the very least. Plan to spend a few dollars on staging items. Keep in mind that curb appeal is critical for getting prospective buyers into your home. Don’t skimp on landscaping or any of these items, but don’t go overboard, either. Even a simple pot of flowers can freshen up an aging stoop. Affordable creativity is key, and you can ask your real estate agent for tips.
Be realistic when planning a budget. If your sale is successful, you’re going to have a lot of expenses, such as moving fees. Judiciously repair anything that will reduce your property’s value.
Now you’re ready! Prepare to leave your home in your real estate agent’s hands with some light refreshments. Good luck on your first open house!