Preparing For Your Open House

Despite all the photos posted online or in the marketing materials your agent prepares, nobody wants to buy a house sight unseen. 

Holding an open house is a great way to get many potential buyers through the door and show off your polished, picture perfect home. But first you must make sure your home is ready to be seen. Buyers need to envision how they'll use the available space, and that means staging your home so that it looks inviting but not too lived-in. Here are tips to make your open house gets offers.

1. Invite your neighbors and friends. About a week before your open house, invite your neighbors, friends, and family members to the event. Encourage them to bring anyone they know who is looking to buy a new home. I’ll provide you with open house flyers—and hand them out along with your personal invitation.

2. Clear clutter. Hopefully, you’ve already stored many of your personal items. On the day of your open house, be sure to put away any remaining items. Buyers get turned off when you have too many appliances on the kitchen counters, piles of magazines on every flat surface of the living room, or papers stacked on the kitchen counter. The clutter makes it hard for visitors to picture their stuff in your space.

3. Remove your personal items. Hopefully, you’ve already stored many of your personal items. On the day of your open house, be sure to put away any remaining items.

4. Thoroughly clean the kitchen and all bathrooms. Bathrooms and kitchens are important to buyers and deep cleaning these spaces really does matter. Be sure to wipe down everything! If you haven’t already done so, be sure to brighten up the bathrooms with a new shower curtain, bathmat and matching towels in coordinating tones.

5. Let there be light! Open all the window treatments to let in natural light. Add floor or table lamps to brighten dim areas and turn on all lights before each showing.

6. Protect Yourself from Theft. It’s no secret that an open house invites strangers into your home. Not to scare you, but there are unscrupulous people out there who will use an open house as a chance to case your home. To avoid theft, remove your personal belongings from your space, whether expensive or priceless. Be sure to secure (or completely remove) any prescription medications, also.

7. Board your pets. Many buyers aren’t comfortable around your four-legged friend and many have allergies. Take your pets with you or board them for your open house. And make sure cat litter boxes are clean and all pet food is stored out of sight.

8. Leave. Buyers will feel more comfortable asking questions of your agent if you're not hovering in the background. Your real estate agent can highlight the positive features of your home without bias. So, take a hike for a few hours or go shopping.


Ruth Lyons
Ruth Lyons
5850 Waterloo Road Suite 140 Columbia MD 21045