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This article was published 21/3/2016 (1246 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Simply knowing that you have a great home to offer isn’t enough — you must prove it to buyers as soon they walk through your door.
During your open house, it’s crucial for your guests to be able to picture themselves living in the space and to imagine what it would look like as their home.
Prepping your home for an open house requires a little more TLC than your regular cleaning routine.
Simply follow this checklist, in the weeks leading up to your open house, to make a great first impression:
This step goes beyond dusting, sweeping and scrubbing the bathtub. The house should feel like new. Consider steaming the carpets, having the drapes dry cleaned and giving the upholstery a thorough vacuuming.
Take a few seconds to look up and down each room to identify any areas that are often neglected and give them a deep clean. These areas are usually places like the top of the fridge, cabinet interiors, underneath and inside the fridge and oven, and the tops of doorways.
The kitchen and washroom are areas where prospective buyers will expect cleanliness — make sure they are spotless. It may be worthwhile to hire a maid service for a day to ensure your home is spick and span.
Depersonalize and de-clutter
A cluttered home is unattractive to potential buyers and can come in the form of a pile of shoes by the door, a mound of dishes by the sink, or an overload of knick knacks on your shelves. Try to find a way to organize the things you want to keep and get rid of the rest, either by giving them away, throwing them out or storing them in an offsite storage space. Hiding them in cabinets, closets or a designated room isn’t the solution, as visitors will want to open doors freely and explore the home in its entirety.
You’ll also want to put away any photographs or personal items so that your guests don’t feel as though they’re intruding — they should be able to easily imagine their own belongings in the space.
Build curb appeal
Walk out onto the curb of your home and observe it. Most buyers will judge your home as soon as they pull up to it. Is the roof in need of repair? Could the gutters use a cleaning? Is the path to the home clear? Is there grass growing? Try to make the front of your home look as inviting and safe as possible. Bonus points include laying out a new welcome mat and planting some fresh flowers either in the garden or in pots along the stairs.
Maintain your landscaping
While you’re outside, take a look at any trees or bushes you may have. Prune, trim and weed to create a clean atmosphere. You may want to consider having a professional landscaper to get the job done. Get rid of any dead or dying plants, bushes or tree branches. The key is to make everything look fresh and new for potential buyers.
Revive faded rooms
A fresh coat of light, neutral paint is a must in most rooms. Not only do newly painted walls create a clean feeling, but their neutrality allows potential buyers to add on their own personality or ideas. Bright or bold colours are not everyone’s cup of tea.
It’s also important to consider refinishing your hardwood floors. Look around each room with a critical eye — you’ll want to take care of scuffed woodwork, ripped wallpaper, water damage and exposed wiring.
Get rid of that smell
Don’t just cover it up with air freshener - find the cause of a bad smell and eliminate it. It could be caused from indoor smoking, laundry, bathroom mold, garbage cans, musty basements, cooking, litter boxes or a number of other things. Invite a trusted friend over to help you detect any off-putting smells and then get to the source.
Brighten up the space
Clean all windows and open up the blinds or drapes to let in the light. Ensure that each fixture in the house has a working light bulb of the maximum safe wattage, to brighten the space. Good lighting creates an uplifting atmosphere and will appeal to potential buyers.
As a host, you know your home inside and out. Once visitors arrive, talk to them and make sure to sell your favourite rooms and features!
Kim Ewchuk is the general manager and licensed sales representative for ComFree Commonsense Network. Suggest column ideas by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Real Estate Matters
Kim Ewchuk is the general manager and licensed sales representative for ComFree Commonsense Network broker. Suggest column ideas by email at email@example.com