Cleaning your house is not the only way to prepare for an open house. Keep reading for 7 key tips for preparing for an open house.

Are you ready for your first open house? The prospect of strangers walking through your home and making judgments can be a daunting one. However, with some preparation, your open house will be a breeze. 

Read on to learn our top tips on preparing for an open house! 

1. When to Host an Open House
The first thing you’ll need to consider is when to have your open house. Here are a few rules of thumb that will keep you on the right track: 
Try to avoid rainy or overcast days when people would rather stay home
Avoid major holidays, citywide events, major sports games, and large scale construction or road closures
Sunday is by far the most popular day for open houses
8 am to 11 am are the best times for open houses on Sunday
Saturday is the second most popular day 
Have your open house the first weekend after it goes on the market

2. Marketing
Even if your house has gone up on the MLS, some additional marketing will spark interest and get more buyers through your door. Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

Create a video walk-through of your home
You or your realtor can use social media to announce your upcoming open house
Create welcome pamphlets that highlight special features of your home and community
Advertise in print through your local paper
Post flyers in popular local areas that have bulletin boards
3. Depersonalize  
Even if you’re not working with a professional home stager, you should focus on removing at least one piece of furniture from each room of your home. This opens up the spaces and makes your home appear larger. 

Remember that you’ll also have more foot traffic. Making your house easier to navigate will be a far more pleasant experience for buyers.

Besides removing furniture, you’ll also want to remove family photos or decor with people’s names in order to make it easier for buyers to imagine the house as their own. Create clean, depersonalized surfaces on all your walls, tabletops, and refrigerator. 

If you have walk-in closets, a large pantry, or large cabinets, you’ll want to ensure these are clean and organized as well. Some buyers will want to take a look at the storage you have available. 

Lastly, make arrangements for any pets in your home. See if a family member or friend is willing to look after your pets during the open house for a few hours. You can also choose to temporarily board them, though this can be costly. 

4. Clean
You want your home to be as clean and fresh as a new hotel room. Try to view your home from a stranger’s eyes and remember that spots you may normally overlook may be obvious to a potential buyer. 

If you don’t want to hire a professional cleaner, here is a list of tasks that you shouldn’t forget.

1. Vacuum - floors, cobwebs in corners
2. Wipe - mirrors, windows, appliances, showers, tubs, and tabletops 
3. Launder - bedding, towels, and rugs
4. Touch Up - chipped paint, scuff marks, holes
5. Dust - fan blades, windowsills, tabletops, and decor items
6. Sweep - sidewalks, garage, and patio 
7. Prune - bushes and flowers 

24 Hours Before Your Open House

At this point most of your preparation should be completed. You’ll have a clean, well-staged home that’s ready to hold up to the scrutiny of potential buyers. However, there are still a few last-minute touches that will help boost the first impression your home gives. 

5. Light
Make sure that your home is light and bright. Well-lit homes are far more welcoming than dark ones. Pull aside curtains and window treatments and turn on all your lights.

6. Scent
Your home’s scent is probably something you’ve grown accustomed to, so it can be hard to judge whether there are any lingering unpleasant smells. While candles can be effective, sometimes too many will make it seem obvious that you’re trying to cover up bad smells. 

Instead, open up your windows for more air circulation. Use plug-in air fresheners, especially in the living room and bathrooms, for a subtle, effective way to add pleasant scents. 

7. Decor
At this point, most of the decor and staging should be finished. However, you can add some pleasant touches such as fresh flowers in attractive vases and the time-honored tradition of a bowl of fresh fruit.

You can spruce up your bathroom and kitchen with new towels, rugs, and shower curtains that fit certain color themes.  

8. Comfort
Besides the flyer or packet of information your realtor should give out to buyers, you should give them a treat to make your home more memorable. This can be as simple as baked goods or an assortment of refreshing drinks.

Lastly, make sure your home is set at a comfortable temperature. A house that’s too hot or too cold will make people rush through their viewing, eager to escape. The goal is to make your guests feel as relaxed and at-home as possible so that they take their time and consider what your house has to offer! 

Discover more ways to sell your home fast here. 

Preparing for an Open House: Selling Your Home Fast
Although preparing for an open house may seem unnecessary at first after you’ve gone through the process of putting it on the MLS, the sweat and toil you put in at the beginning will be worthwhile at the end. Potential buyers will have a more pleasant experience, and you’ll be rewarded by selling your home faster than you predicted. 

Want to learn more ways to sell your home fast? Keep reading our blog for more tips and ideas!