Preparing for a Successful Open House

Preparing for a Successful Open House

If you’ve recently put your home on the market or plan to do so soon, your realtor may have recommended hosting an open house. Make sure to consult with your realtor to determine the best way to stage your home—on the inside and the outside. Here are some tips on how to host a successful open house.

Inside your home

When potential buyers visit open houses, they want to imagine themselves living there. Help buyers envision themselves in your home by removing pictures and other personal items.

Too much furniture and clutter hide a home’s potential. Jump-start your packing and streamline as much as possible. Store extra furniture and knick-knacks. The less furniture, the better.

After you’ve removed the clutter and extra furniture, get down and dirty with a deep cleaning. If you’re too busy or worried that you might miss something critical, hire a professional cleaning service.  If you’re doing it yourself, this deep-cleaning checklist from Design Refined can help you be thorough.

Storage is gold, so highlight it wherever you can. Check out This Old House for 37 creative, clever ways to add storage to every room.

Inspect the walls with a critical eye. Most homes also benefit from a coat of new paint to freshen up the color. If you or your realtor notice other issues, like leaky faucets, sagging gutters, dings in the flooring, or other cosmetic concerns, either hire a contractor to fix them, or if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, make time to address the problems.

Outside your home

The old adage “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is never more true than when someone’s looking at a home for the first time. Curb appeal is crucial to buyers having an immediate attraction to your home.

Ask a friend or someone whose opinion you trust to give you an honest assessment of your home’s exterior. Address any problems or concerns they raise.

Power wash walkways, driveways, garage doors, fencing, window exteriors, and decks. Trim shrubs, weed the garden, plant seasonal blooming flowers (if the season’s right), add mulch, and cover your lawn’s bare spots with sod or grass seed.

Create a welcoming entrance with a tidy, clean porch. A new doormat and updated light fixtures add personality. If your storm door has seen better days, consider replacing it. Add a touch of instant class by updating your home’s house numbers.

Open House day

On the day of your open house, you’ll want to budget an hour or two before home buyers arrive to take care of last-minute sprucing up. You should:

  • Drop your pets off at the kennel or with a sitter.
  • Vacuum and sweep to clean up last-minute dirt, dust, crumbs, and hair.
  • Wipe down cabinets, faucets, appliances, and counters.
  • Run the dishwasher (if needed) before guests arrive.
  • Empty garbage cans and spray disinfectant in the kitchen garbage can.
  • Clean the toilets and put the lids DOWN.
  • Open the curtains and put up the shades; turn on lights in every room.
  • Weather permitting, open the windows and doors to air out the house.
  • Remove valuables (jewelry, important documents, your kids’ piggy banks, laptops, mobile devices) from the home or hide them where you know they’re secure.
  • Buy or bake cookies, put out a bowl of fruit, and offer a selection of drinks or other bite-sized snacks.
  • Add a pop of color and a bit of fragrance by putting vases of flowers in each room.

If you really want to step it up, add even more personality to your home by setting your dining room table for a special dinner and turning your bathroom into a spa with new, fluffy towels. Now take a deep breath and congratulate yourself on a well-prepped home.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

About the Author:

Suzie Wilson is an Interior Designer, Author, and Creator of, a project created to help people near and far learn how to enhance their homes so that they’re picturesque and peaceful.

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