Three “Must Dos” for a Successful Open House

In Selling Your Home by Dawn Dolan

Blog courtesy guest blogger Suzie Wilson ⎸  ⎸Happier Home

Image courtesy of Pixabay

You made a big investment when you purchased your home.  When it comes time to sell, you want a top-dollar offer, and you want it quickly.  An open house event can be the key, but first you need to make proper preparations.

Why these are must do’s.  As they say, you only get one chance to make a great first impression.  Your open house is probably the first and last time most prospective buyers will view your home.  As USA Today explains, most buyers will spend just a few minutes in your home, and in that short span of time, they will decide whether to make an offer.  If they don’t like what they see, you’ll miss your chance.  Because it’s so important, you need to create an environment that is both attractive and comfortable to them.  Those two elements are the key.  They aren’t complicated, but many sellers overlook the basics.  Follow these tips so your bases are covered, and you get a great offer on your property.

Spruce up curb appeal.  Don’t underestimate the value of curb appeal.  If potential buyers aren’t impressed by your home’s exterior, they won’t be interested in the interior.  Step back from your home and take an inventory of what needs to be done, and if your neighbor’s property look unkempt, offer to lend them a hand cleaning up.  Remember when buyers are approaching your home, they will be looking at everything.  Clean your driveway and apply a fresh layer of asphalt if it’s looking shabby.  Tidy up landscaping, cutting back trees and shrubbery so your home is easily seen.  Mulch your flower beds, and if your mailbox is in poor shape, replace it.  Install new house numbers, buy a new welcome mat, and give your front door a fresh coat of paint.  If your door’s hardware is worn, replace it.  Manicure your lawn, and if there are dead areas, one idea is to cover them with a flower bed.  Aim for an overall groomed and healthy appearance.

How to Bring Great Landscaping to Your Home

Deep clean everything.  Once you move preparations to your home’s interior, your first and biggest step toward open house success is a thorough cleaning.  Shampoo carpeting, scrub tiles and sinks, mop floors—clean every nook and cranny, top to bottom.  Grimy shower doors can be a big turnoff, so some experts suggest scouring with a muriatic acid solution.  Remember nothing is off-limits, and buyers look everywhere, even places you might not think about.  Scrub behind your toilet and vacuum closet floors.  Wipe down walls and outlet covers and ensure your windows and light fixtures sparkle.

Declutter rooms and storage areas.  You want your home to feel comfortable to prospective buyers, and you want to show off the structure and amount of space the house offers.  If buyers must overlook your knickknacks and personal belongings, they won’t remember anything beyond your “stuff.”  Consider this your chance to get a jump on packing, and box up photos, personal items, and out-of-season clothing and decor.  Store them off-site since shoppers will want to see your closets and storage.  If storage spaces are packed, it appears the house doesn’t have enough space.  This is also the time to limit your furniture down to the basics.  As HouseLogic explains, full rooms look smaller.  Pare down and arrange furniture to allow a logical traffic pattern.

Moving on.  With your superior preparations, chances are it won’t take long to get a great offer on your home!  Putting hard work into your open house can be exhausting and emotional.  When you’ve successfully sold your home, opt to hire movers to help ease stress on your body and mind.

Sold!  With the basics in place, you can enjoy open house success.  Create great curb appeal, clean thoroughly, and de-clutter your home.  Your property will receive a great offer in no time!


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. chicago real estate school