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How to Prepare Your Home for an Open House

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An open house is an essential part of the moving process if you are planing to sell your old home. Normally when you are selling your old property, the available budget for the move is dependent on the money brought in by that sale.

A good open house is extremely important because it can make your old home look more attractive to prospective buyers which will help you sell your home quicker and for a higher price. Let's take a look at some strategies for making your open house as good as possible.

Start with a sign

An open house sign by the road goes a long way in broadcasting your home's open house. If you put this sign up about a week before you hold the open house you can generate local interest in your property long before anyone even steps foot in your house. An open house is advertising first and foremost.

Keep it clean

This should be obvious, but if you are inviting people into your home in order to sell it, you want it to be as clean as possible. That means free of dirt and free of clutter. It is also important to remember to neutralize any smells that linger in the home. You may want a third party to test the smell of the home -- since you have lived there, you likely won't recognize that it has a specific smell. Even if you wash walls and floors, if the house seems unorganized because your belongings are scattered everywhere, it will give a poor impression. You may think that  it shouldn't matter that your own furniture is unorganized since a new owner will likely have their own furniture and rearrange things. This may be factually true, but an open house is all about the buyers' perception, which has very little to do with reality in some cases. If the house looks unorganized for whatever reason, it could turn off potential buyers.

Just empty enough

It is important that the guests can picture themselves living in your home. This means that you need to find a balance of just how lived-in the house should appear. The space should be open and free of many personal items, but at the same time it should be furnished and not give off a sterile impression. Not all appliances and furniture should remain if the house looks cluttered, but some should be present, even if you plan on taking them with you because they can help give the home the look of a more livable area.

Fix anything that is broken

Your home is going to have to look functional and some guests may even ask to test some appliances or plumbing. That means that everything should be in good working condition on the day of your open house. If something is broken and cannot be fixed in time, be sure it does not visibly appear broken and simply leave a note to the event's supervisor that guests are not allowed to use that item.

Don't forget curb appeal

Mow your lawn. Trim your hedges. Do some landscaping. The appearance of the outdoor area of your property can be just as vital to potential buyers as the indoor appearance. Make sure things outside your home are neat and attractive. Clean your house itself if it has moss or clogged gutters dirtying its exterior.

Don't be weird

It is a good idea to remove any exceedingly personal or odd items from your house before the open house. Again, you should make the guests able to picture themselves living there, so personal or controversial items can detract from that. Artwork should compliment the house but not be too garish or controversial. Any pet items should be removed. Religious or political objects and posters also should not be present. You want to be able to sell your home to the widest possible sample of people, so it pays to be as politically correct and neutral as possible.

Don't be there

It is awkward to be present for your own open house. You should have a real estate agent there to conduct the event. Your presence alone would hinder that all-important vision of the guest calling the property their own. It may also be uncomfortable to watch various people come in to the place where you have lived and scrutinize it. 

Watch out for thieves

Unfortunately, an open house leaves you vulnerable to theft. You are letting strangers come into your home, after all. Medicine cabinets should be emptied before an open house since a common scheme is for people to come in to open houses to steal prescription drugs that may be valuable on the black market. Any valuable items that could easily be pocketed should also be absent or locked up during an open house. The event should have more than one chaperone, be it real estate agents, or friends, or family. All guests should be supervised at all times, if possible.

Once your home is ready, it is time to hold the event! Since you won't be there during your open house it would be a good time to take care of the other aspects of moving that you must address. If you need a free quote from a variety of movers, you can fill out our free quote form to get started!

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on June 27, 2014 - Moving Expert
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