Open House Tips for sellers

Conducting an open house is a good way to introduce your home to many people in a short amount of time.

While we will advertise and manage the event, it is up to you to make sure that your home is in showing condition.

Here are some things you can do to make a great impression.

Start with the outside:

  • Do a visual check of the front of the house from across the street. Does it have curb appeal? It should look inviting with trimmed lawn and flower bed and freshly painted front door.
  • In the winter months make sure the walkways are shoveled and there is no ice that could create a potential hazard.
  • Make sure there are no vehicles parked in the driveway or front street. Allow potential buyers easy parking and access to your home. This will also allow for the open house signs to be easily visible from the street.
  •  Front entrance sets the stage for what the buyers will see inside, broom or wash the front steps, remove unnecessary items like flower pots to give impression of large front entrance.
  • Polish door handles and knockers, replace or repair front door bell.
  • Consider adding a new doormat to welcome the buyers, letting them know that shoes have to be cleaned and removed when they enter.
  • Make sure the front light is in good condition and working.
  • While outside don’t forget to check the sides and backyard, remove scattered toys or gardening equipment. Rake leaves, water the flowers, put in fresh wood in the firepit, store and close garden sheds or storage under the deck.
  • In the summer time plant new blooming flowers or purchase ready flowering pots.
  • Rearrange outside furniture to look inviting.

Start with the outside:

  • Cleanliness, space, smell and lighting are key.
  • Get your house in tip top condition by cleaning and clearing away clutter.
  • Vacuum the carpets, steam clean if needed, especially hallways and stairs.
  • Make sure your floors are clean and shinny.
  • Touch up nicks on the walls, in high traffic areas and corners.
  • Bathrooms are tidy, remove personal grooming items like toothbrushes, etc., hide them out of sight. Bring out your best towels and make sure bathroom sink and tub is shiny and clean.
  • All metallic fixtures and surfaces should shine.
  • Your kitchen and bathrooms should pass the white glove test.
  • Be conscious of any lingering odors such as smoke, pets or strong-smelling foods. You may need to air out the home prior to the open house. Avoid overusing scented candles, one for the entire house is plenty.
  • Consider grinding fresh lemons in the garbage disposal.
  • Empty out trash. Inside the house, garage and outside.
  • Look at your countertops in the kitchen, clear away any small appliances or items that shouldn’t be there, show the working space on the spacious countertop.
  • Make any small repairs that you can, broken faceplates on switches, missing baseboards
  • Next set the mood. You want the buyers to be able to picture your home as their own.
  • You may want to rearrange the furniture so that the rooms look more spacious and functional. Remove furniture that has no use, extra tables, chairs etc.
  • When arranging the furniture allow for walking space, don’t make the buyers maneuver around your furniture to get around the house.
  • Remove extra plants and flower pots, plants add to the calming ambiance but also take away valuable living space if overused.
  • Lighting is very important to create atmosphere. Replace any broken light fixtures and replace light bulbs. Consider installing soft warm light bulbs to bring out the colors in your home. This is not the time to go cheap on light use maximum wattage allowed for the fixtures. Open curtains and let the light bathe the rooms.
  • Don’t forget little touches such as fresh flowers, new logs in the fireplace or bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter.
  • You may even want to set your dining room table with color coordinated table settings.

Safety Reminders:

  • Make sure all your valuables are put away, such as: important documents, jewelry, money or delicate collectibles.
  • Your Keystone agents will supervise the open house and ask everyone to sign in.
  • You do not have to be present during the open house, in fact it will allow for agent and potential buyer to have a more open and constructive conversation for feedback.
  • Take out any pets that might be distracting or potentially harmful to people with allergies.   

First Impressions Are Lasting Impressions!

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