Making the most of your open home

August 14, 2017

When you put your house on the market you will be looking to get the highest price possible, in the shortest time frame that you can. The open house inspection is the best chance you have of really showing off your home to potential buyers, and getting the price you want for it.

Of course the very first steps you need to take to start getting your house into order for sale is to give it the biggest clean out of it’s life. Not just a small tidy up, and not even just your average spring clean – the house needs to be completely cleaned and decluttered from the ground up. This includes every single room, plus the outside areas front and back. It is worth looking into Melbourne skip bin hire for this part of the process as you might be surprised at just how much there is to throw away – especially if you’ve lived there for years or gone through any kind of renovations since you owned it.  It isn’t just old furniture or rubbish, there could be left over renovation supplies that you had forgotten about hidden in the garage or under the house, pieces of wood, old stone … once you start looking at your house with fresh eyes these things will suddenly stand out to you.

Always be switched on

From the moment your home is listed for sale, you will need to be on show. Potential buyers won’t just wait for the official open house, they will start driving past during the day or night to check out the location and the street, and to see if it’s worth adding to their inspection list for the weekend.

That means the front of your home needs to be on display and at showroom standards at all times until you have a sale. This includes the front gate and the front yard as well as the house. If you have hired a skip or booked a curbside clean up, be sure this is all cleared away before your ‘for sale’ signs go up. If you have nice outside lights, turn them on for a period of time in the evening as the warm glow will be inviting and look homely.

Create ambience

When it comes to the open house inspection, set the tone by being as inviting and welcoming as you can. Create a space that makes people want to settle in for a while. You can do this by lighting scented candles before people arrive, or opening windows to allow a fresh breeze to travel through the rooms. Some people bake cookies or a cake in the hour before the inspection time to give off an inviting scent.

If you have the money available, it is also a good idea to consider home staging. This is where you hire someone to come in with their own furniture and / or decorating items to make the place look like it belongs on the pages of a magazine. By doing this, you show off the true potential of a home and allow people to dream of living in a perfect space. Although it is an additional cost, the money is usually returned in spades as the final sale price is higher and the house is sold faster.

Set the scene

If paying a home staging service isn’t within your budget, you can still do a good job of it yourself. Take all unnecessary items out of the home so the place looks less cluttered. Make sure you hang fresh, well-maintained towels from towel racks in the bathroom (it might be time to buy some new ones if yours are getting old looking) and the same for any tea towels you might hang in the kitchen. Refresh cushions on the sofas and beds – you can do this for as little as $5 per cushion if you shop at places like Kmart. If there are any permanent marks on walls you can cover these with cheap but modern prints, mirrors or clocks. A fresh bunch of flowers in the kitchen, dining or living areas also give a nice vibe.

To really make the most of your open home and to get the highest price possible for your sale, it is also worth fixing anything that is broken or damaged around the house. Perhaps you’ve learned to overlook the peeling paint on the front door, or the broken light switch in the guest room, but for people inspecting the house for the first time these little things just add up in their minds as tasks that need doing if they end up buying the house. For each broken light bulb or busted door handle, money comes off the final amount they are willing to pay overall for the property. But for a quick fix, you are more likely to achieve your asking price or perhaps even more.