You’re getting ready to put your home up for sale soon which has you making endless to do lists of things that need to get done. There’s the deep cleaning, minor repairs to take care of, and giving your walls a fresh coat of paint. But what about once the for sale sign is up? One thing you might not have thought much about yet is how to stage your home for a successful Open House. This is a crucial piece and my goal is to help equip you with all of the tools and information necessary for successfully selling your home. So here are my top tips to make sure you rock your first open house.
Step 1: Create a Warm Welcome – You want to make your house feel like “home” and this can be done without having your personal family photos scattered throughout the house. That will actually have the opposite effect. So first things first, when buyers step through your front door you want them to experience the cozy feeling of home and there are a few ways you can do this. Start with asking them to take off their shoes. Not only will this show them that you take care of your home and want to protect the floors but you can also add a nice note. Take an 8x10 picture frame and a print out a note to prospective buyers that says something like “Welcome! This could be your new home! Please remove shoes or wear the booties we have provided to keep our floors looking great!” You can also provide a basket of booties they can wear over their shoes. Your Real Estate Agent should provide you with some when you list your home!
Next, have a designated space for the buyers to grab something to drink. You could set up a coffee bar with disposable cups they can take with or keep it really simple and put out some water bottles. You could also get creative and make a tasty punch or put out a bottle of wine.
Step 2: Set the Scene – You want to make your home comfortable so once buyers are inside they aren’t in a rush to leave. That means, adjusting the temperature to appeal to the weather. If it’s chilly out, crank up the heat to instantly warm everyone up as they step inside. If it’s nice out, open all the windows to allow the breeze to come in and if it’s hot, crank up that AC to help relieve them from the heat.
The second part of setting the scene is to brighten up your space. Open up all of your blinds and turn on every single light or lamp – literally all of them. There’s nothing worse than walking through a dimly lit home. Your Real Estate Agent can get the lights turned on for you but if you have a darker area or room, consider investing in new lighting before listing your house for sale. Your home will show the best and look larger when it’s nice and bright. A bonus tip for brightening is to remove your window screens.
The last piece to setting the scene is to prep your home to create more of an experience for the buyers so that it stands out against any other homes they may have toured the same day. Play soft music in the background, light a few candles and make sure your fireplace is turned on for added ambiance. Don’t forget to highlight any fun home features such as a movie theater room – you could make popcorn for buyers to snack on and have a movie playing so they really get to feel the experience of that room and what it would be like to live there.
Step 3: Add a Personal Touch – Since buyers walking through the Open House might not be familiar with the area or know every feature your home has. Make a Top 10 List that shares your favorite things about living here. Whether it’s sitting in the hot tub with a glass of wine or having coffee on the front porch every morning – help paint the picture of what you love about living there.
Next is the written welcome – do you have a chalkboard or letterboard? Put a message on it to welcome buyers such as “Welcome Home”. This always creates a warm fuzzy feeling for buyers touring a house. Lastly, don’t forget about the community! You could use the same chalkboard or create a separate list where you share your 5 favorite spots in the community. Whether it’s a park, a favorite happy hour spot, or the best pasta in town. This gives buyers a feel for your community and gets them excited about new places they can check out.
So remember these 3 things: Create a warm welcome, set the scene and add a personal touch when it comes to staging your home for a successful open house. These are things you can start planning now by creating your lists of favorite features and community spots, writing on a chalkboard and adding lighting where necessary. These are sure to create a memorable and more personal experience for the buyers touring your home.