Seven Steps to Preparing for an Open House

  1. Hire a cleaning service. A spotlessly clean home is essential; dirt will turn off a prospect faster than anything.
  2. Mow your lawn, and be sure toys and yard equipment are put away.
  3. Serve cookies, coffee, and soft drinks. It creates a welcoming touch. But be sure the kitchen has been cleaned up; use disposable cups so the sink doesn’t fill up.
  4. Lock up your valuables, jewelry, and money. Although the real estate salesperson will be on site during the open house, it’s impossible to watch everyone all the time.
  5. Turn on all the lights. Even in the daytime, incandescent lights add sparkle.
  6. Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that’s not possible, crate them or confine them to one room (a basement or bath), and let the salesperson know where to find them.
  7. Leave. It’s awkward for prospective buyers to look in your closets and express their opinions of your home with you there.

Ten Ways to Make Your Home Irresistible at an Open House

  1. Put fresh or silk flowers in principal rooms for a touch of color.
  2. Add a new shower curtain, fresh towels, and new guest soaps to every bath.
  3. Set out potpourri or fresh baked goods for a homey smell.
  4. Set the table with pretty dishes and candles.
  5. Buy a fresh doormat with a clever saying.
  6. Take one or two major pieces of furniture out of every room to create a sense of spaciousness.
  7. Put away kitchen appliances and personal bathroom items to give the illusion of more counter space.
  8. Lay a fire in the fireplace. Or put a basket of flowers there if it’s not in use.
  9. Depersonalize the rooms by putting away family photos, mementos, and distinctive artwork.
  10. Turn on the sprinklers for 30 minutes to make the lawn sparkle.

Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.

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