We’ve all heard the fresh baked cookies trick, but the truth of the matter is, potential buyers really are paying attention to things like the smell of your home. A few days before your open house, you should literally open your house. To really air out your home, you’ll need to do this for at least a couple of hours for a few days leading up to the open house. Burning a candle can put potential buyers off, depending on the scent you choose, but sprigs of fresh herbs, like lavender, basil or mint, can be incredibly energizing, and hyacinths smell heavenly.
Keep in mind, you’re selling a lifestyle, along with your home. People don’t want to envision themselves living amongst your smelly cats and hockey bag. Create an aura for your house that instills a sense of good health and wellness, and your house will be sold in no time.
First impressions are critical when it comes to real estate, so to ensure potential buyers get a good feel for your house as soon as they roll up, pay special attention to your curb appeal by cleaning up your yard and adding a touch of decor. Depending on the season, that could mean cutting the grass, trimming any wayward hedges, and making sure the all the garbage cans are tucked away. Fix any broken stairs or porch railings and consider adding a pop of colour with flowers to spruce up the existing flowerbeds. You don’t have to spend a lot, or redesign your landscaping, a few pots (try three in different sizes arranged in a cluster) can make a strong enough impact when placed beside your front door
When prepping your home for an open house, narrow down your possessions by packing away as much as you can or store packed boxes neatly in a garage or basement. When a room is left with just the necessities, it looks larger and won’t be as distracting to potential buyers. Sure, your decades-long collection of fashion magazines is impressive, but buyers don’t want to be reminded of the hoarder—or, “collector”—who’s been living in the home. Think of a hotel room, albeit a stylish one, and follow that template: bed, bedside table, lamp, phone, artwork over the bed.
Cleaning your home before an open house may sound like an obvious tip, but you can’t underestimate the level of cleaning required. Buyers will inspect your home with a fine-tooth comb, they’ll open every cupboard, wipe their fingers across every baseboard and turn their noses at every smudge on your light switches. Unless you actually enjoy cleaning, consider hiring a service to come in and scour the place. If you decide to tackle the job yourself, pay extra attention to the two most important areas of the house: the kitchen and the bathrooms. Countertops should be clear of all items and sparkling clean, while appliance fronts should be spotless. Remove any photos, art or calendars from the fridge door and sweep and mop the floors. In the bathroom, remove all personal items from the vanity and make sure the sinks, toilets and bathtubs are gleaming. If you have a glass-front shower, make sure it’s free of soap scum or water marks. Replace any threadbare towels with one or two new fluffy white ones.
If a whole house paint job is not in the budget, but your walls or baseboards have seen better days, it may be worth a quick paint job. Any walls that make a major statement, like your child’s multi-coloured bedroom, or your bright green dining room, might be better served in a neutral white or grey.
CONSIDER THE LIGHTING
Replace any burnt out light bulbs and turn on all of the lights to make your home feel warm and inviting. If you’ve got any areas of the house that don’t have adequate lighting or that lack natural light, consider adding a floor or table lamp to help brighten it up or even replace the light fixture altogether to make your house feel warm and inviting.