Guest Article written for Kamloops Property For Sale by Suzie Wilson of Happier Home. Click the link to explore her tips on making your home a happy home and learn about her new book Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House.
When you’re trying to sell your home, you want to showcase all that makes it a great place to live.
When you’re having an open house, you have to make it shine so that visitors can get an idea of how they would live in the home. Basically, your lived-in home has to look as good as a photo in a magazine. That’s no small feat!
To get ready, you’ve got to spend a little time, a little money and a lot of elbow grease. But don’t worry, none of it is impossible. You can do most, if not all, of it yourself.
Start from the outside
Take a look around the property. Is it beautiful, welcoming and pristine? If not, get to work.Your home needs curb appeal.
Add a few extra flowers to the front yard. Put some potted plants and patio furniture on the front porch. Trim back overgrown trees and bushes. Touch up peeling paint. Clean the gutters. Give the front door a paint job.
Don’t forget the backyard, too. Potential buyers want to see themselves relaxing in the backyard or hosting a cookout. If you have some nice patio furniture, get it cleaned up and staged as if you were planning to use it that day. If not, consider borrowing some from a neighbor or friend. The goal is to make a beautiful first impression.
Declutter and depersonalize
First, start moving stuff out of your home. If you have to rent space for storage or keep it at your parents’ house, do so. Experts say that you should remove 50 to 70 percent of your belongings to create more space. You want the home to feel open and spacious. The less furniture and belongings you have, the better. Take the same portion from your closets, too. If your closets are stuffed, it will appear that there isn’t enough storage in the home.
You get used to seeing tchotchkes and things lying around the house. You don’t see the stuff that others will see in your home. So, clear out everything you can, making all the surfaces clear or with small, impersonal decor.
Clean it up
If your home is on the market you’ve probably already cleaned the house. Clean it again. When you have an open house, people will look in every part of the home. Clean up everything you can think of: The floors, the blinds, the windows, the shelves, the stove and oven, the refrigerator and even part of the house you never use. Consider hiring a cleaning service to do a good, deep cleaning. Having a stranger clean your house can often yield results that you hadn’t considered.
Fix the little things
Broken cabinets, missing hardware, a busted screen door and a cracked window are all things that buyers will notice. They might be small things, but buyers will think that if you can’t fix the small things, you haven’t fixed the big things (and we hope you already did that).
Hide your valuables
Take anything of value out of the home and keep it somewhere safe, like the home of a family member or friend. Your jewelry, passports, expensive electronics and any other item that would be a target for thieves. This kind of crime is rare, but it does happen.
Invite the neighbours
Don’t be afraid to invite people over, even if they’re not in the market for a home. They can spread the word to their friends and family who are in the market. Word of mouth is a good way to sell homes. Distribute flyers to places that get a lot of traffic, too, such as coffee shops, community bulletin boards, even at work. You’d be surprised who might see it.
Putting in a little extra work on your home will help your house show well in an open house and in private showings. The extra work will not go unnoticed. It will help bring an audience to your home and your house will be sold before you know it. You and your real estate agent can celebrate afterward -- with a big payoff!
Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.