Are you ready for your Open House?

June 27, 2016

You’ve made the enormous decision- it’s time to move. You’ve found a real estate agent and begun researching moving companies. Of course, you want to get as much foot traffic through your home as possible to increase your chance of selling for the biggest return. So is your home open house ready? Here are a few handy tips to help whip your house into the best shape possible before the world walks through your door.

Clean, clean and clean some more. This is paramount. If prospective buyers feel like your house is dirty, it will leave a poor impression on them. They may wonder if it’s been neglected and bigger problems lie underneath the dirty surface (mould? Insects?). Be vigilant and clean everywhere, as people will be looking in your shower, your oven, and under your sink- and everywhere in between!

Clear out your stuff! If your home feels cluttered, buyers will feel as though there is less square footage and resist making you a decent offer (or putting in an offer period). This is a great time to take advantage of a rental storage locker. Scale back furniture and pack up whatever you can, and then safely secure it in a storage unit until after you’ve moved. Carefully wrap items such as extra dishes (those plates you only take out at Christmas) and fragile knick-knacks. Prospective buyers love to see a blank canvas- this way they can envision their things and their life in your house. Don’t forget to clear out your closets as much as possible, too- it makes your closets seem huge when there is extra room in them for more stuff.

Make arrangements for your pets. If you have 2 Golden Retrievers, just as an example, it would be a great idea to see if a friend or relative could dog-sit for a couple of days while you work to get all that pet hair out of your home. If you smoke, make sure to do so outside. Have some air fresheners on hand, and open your windows wide. Baking some cookies an hour before your open house starts will help your house smell wonderful.

If time permits, a fresh coat of paint on your walls will help brighten your home and make it feel “new” again. Choose a neutral colour- flamingo pink or lime green is fine if those are your favourite colours and you don’t have plans to move. Neutral colours, on the other hand, please a broader audience thereby increasing your chances of selling for a better price. In the last decade, beige was an extremely popular neutral, and while it’s still going strong, gray is now the preferred neutral over beige. And white is always a perfect choice. There are an abundance of neutral shades to go with (including a huge variety of whites). Save your personalized paint colours for when you move into your new home.

Staging your home can help immensely in selling your home. Professional stagers are trained at what they do, and hiring one before your open house can help to set your house apart from the rest. There are several home stagers in the GTA available for hire. There is a cost associated with this, but you may discover you will recoup those costs and more when your beautifully arranged house sells for over-asking price!

Right before your open house begins, turn on all the lights in your house to make your home bright and cheery. Pop some fresh flowers in a vase, then relax, knowing how attractive your home will be to all the prospective buyers walking through. You’ll be fighting off the offers after all you’ve done to prepare!

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