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How To Prep Your Home For A Successful Open House


Photo via Pixabay by HobokenHome

Preparing for an open house can be stressful, especially if you’ve never sold a home before; there’s a lot to plan for and consider, and buyers may be looking for various things, which can be confusing. In some areas of the country, an open floor plan is important; in others, the bathrooms and kitchen are the main selling points. It’s important to know what buyers are looking for and what the strengths of your home are so you can play them up.

Of course, any successful open house will include at least some minor changes; you might decide to repaint, pull off wallpaper, or install new lighting fixtures. Or, you can go bigger and renovate the kitchen for a more updated look. Whichever path you take, you’ll need to know how to get started and how to set a budget, as well as what will be most appealing to a buyer. Looking at your home with a sharp eye will help you find the best ways to stage it when the time comes, so go from room to room and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses you find.

Here are a few tips on how to have a successful open house.

Do your research

Every successful home sale begins with research. Do some homework by getting online to look for some tips on what buyers want in your area. If the bathroom is a big selling point, it might be time to think about updating yours. New lighting fixtures, some fresh paint, and updated countertops might be all you need to make a quick sale; if you’re unsure, talk to a real estate agent and get a professional opinion. Most homes for sale in Vista, CA stay on the market for 30 days and receive 2 offers, but with the right staging, you may be able to get a faster turnaround.

Cleaning is everything

One of the most important components of a successful open house is making sure everything is nice and clean, especially if you have pets or a large family. One of the biggest turn-offs for a buyer is walking into a house that smells overtly of animals, and it could mean the loss of a sale for you. Deep-clean carpets, curtains, furniture, and anything else that retains scents; remove pet bedding and toys; dust each room to rid the home of dander and pet hair. The real test is to walk outside, wait a few moments, and walk back inside again to see if you can detect any odors, or have a neighbor come inside for odor detection.


Cleaning shouldn’t stop at dusting; you also need to get each room organized and decluttered so that your buyers can see the benefits of each space. If you’re a collector, put the majority of your items--books, records, art, etc.--into storage while your home is on the market. Remove one piece of furniture from each room to make things look a little bigger, and remove most of the personal items--family photos are a great example--so that buyers can see the potential of the home rather than feel like they’re walking through someone else’s space.

Make it stand out

Many buyers look at several different homes before making a decision, so it’s important to make sure yours stands out. You can achieve this in one of many different ways, whether it’s adding curb appeal with landscaping or simply creating a stunning foyer display with fresh flowers and an intoxicating scent. Make buyers remember your home and wait for the offers to roll in.

Preparing for an open house doesn’t have to be a stressful undertaking. Talk to your realtor for ideas on how to make a quick sale, and start planning well ahead of time so you won’t feel rushed or pressured, which can lead to anxiety. With some preparation and a little help, you’ll get a sale in no time.

Suzie Wilson

Interior Designer, Author, Creator of

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Common Q&A About Selling Your Home
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Runa The Realtor Gunnars