Open House Prep: Insider Secrets
With all of the model home projects Chameleon Design works on, we’ve come to know a thing or two about selling a home! You’ve probably heard the same old tips for getting your place ready for an open house a million times: repair, spruce up, stage, clean, etc. And all with good reason because they work! But beyond the bare minimum, here are some less obvious things you should consider doing if you are aiming to pull off an Open House that showcases your home at its very best.
Visit other open houses in your neighborhood
Get a feel for how the competition is putting its best foot forward to prospective buyers – or not, as the case may be. This exercise of seeing how clean and pristine, well-decorated and neutralized (in odor and decor) some listings are, and seeing how basically clean, but well-lived in properties, appear to be down at the heels by comparison, will help you see your own place through new eyes: the eyes of prospective buyers who will be making those same comparisons with your house.
Do a pre-move packing session. Literally, pretend you’re moving (if things go well, you will be) and pack up almost everything you don’t need to use on a daily basis. Toiletries, nick-knacks, family photos on the fridge — none of this stuff should be visible to Open House hunters. And remember – perspective buyers open closets, drawers, cupboards and garages. Consider renting a storage space if you need to.
Invite the neighbors
Yes, your neighbors are probably nosy and would love to get a glimpse into how you live. But there’s a good chance they are also aware of other people who want to live in their neighborhood and vested in getting good neighbors. So, invite them! A neighbor attending an open house may lead to them letting a house hunting friend know that they must go take a look.
Enlist the neighbors
Even if your neighbors don’t personally know someone who is in the market for a place in your neck of the woods, they want your home to sell at top dollar, as your home’s sale will form the basis for their home’s value! So while you’re inviting the neighbors to attend, be aware of whether there’s anything they can do to make your Open House run smoothly – and ask! Things like moving their cars to free up street parking and not having their kid practice his trombone in the backyard during that particular three hour window on Sunday afternoon are favors almost any good neighbor will be happy to do.
Mow your neighbor’s lawn
This one’s not for everyone, and you’ll have to exercise good judgment to decide how far to go with it, but if you happen to live next door to the blighted house on the block- it might make sense to reach out and offer some help to your struggling neighbor. (Even if your home is amazing, some buyers will just not live next to a place like that). Be sensitive to the idea that you might be insulting the way they live, but more likely than not, they are just elderly, down-on-their-luck, ill, or otherwise overwhelmed people who would welcome some help. If you have reason to think that your neighbors fall into this last group, take some cookies or their newspaper over and see if you can help them – and help yourself in the process.
Get over yourself
The goal in preparing your home for an Open House is to neutralize the decor, so that the broadest possible number of people will crave to live there. So, instead of insisting on using this moment in time to express your unique design leanings, let your agent (or a pro stager) help you decide what should stay and what should go.