Six Ways to Make Your Open House Stand Out

Barry Magee
December 1, 2014

Like any other major event if your life, whether it be a party or a wedding, an open house can be full of surprises and last-second upheavals. Preparing for the worst will usually bring out your best, so read the tips in this article to make sure that your property pops out and draws the right attention.

Before you open the doors to your home to some curious, and hopefully qualified, buyers, make sure that you've taken measures to win their approval before they set foot in your property. Get rid of all the excess junk, hire a professional cleaner and organize each room to maximize open space. Let interested buyers paint a picture of their lives that only they can see.

Figure out when your street traffic is busiest and ensure your real estate agent puts their signs out during those times. The most popular time to hold an open house is during the weekend, and in the mid afternoon.

1. Make a Great First Impression

The exterior of your home is just as critical a factor as the inside, because you never have a second chance to make a first impression. Spend some time to make sure your front yard is squeaky clean, and give your porch a good sweep. Unsightly shrubbery should be manicured by a professional if possible. Keeping your recycling containers and garbage to the back of the house is always a good idea as well.

2. Smell Nice to Attract the Right Attention

There is a good possibility that you don't even realize your home has its own smell, in fact you are probably part of that smell! While this might be fine for you, a potential buyer really wants to envision themselves in your property and this delightful fragrance can smell like a sour odor to them.

There are plenty of ways you can override your home's smell - use potpourri, scented candles, Febreeze, anything that will temporarily eliminate any offensive odors. It's a fine line, as going overboard can put doubt in visitors’ minds, making them wonder if you are hiding anything potentially. A tried-and-tested method is to bake something in the kitchen to make your home smell alive.

3. The Entry Should Be Immaculate

It never is in real life, but when conducting an open house it's always preferable to keep your entrance clean and uncluttered. Store your shoes and coats in another room to make sure the doorway is completely accessible to all who arrive.

Make sure all the surfaces are spotless, and put a little extra elbow grease into it. Windows and bannisters rarely get a lot of cleaning love, but now is the time. All extra, unnecessary personal items should be packed away and put into storage.

4. Make the Kitchen a Strong Focal Point

Put lots of time into your kitchen, as there is no other room in your house that draws as much attention. Make your counter look like it has lots of space by removing any excess small appliances such as your coffeemaker or toaster. Even little things like making sure the garbage is relatively empty can make a good impression.

Make your appliances sparkle and shine by applying a little gusto and some polish. Give the oven and fridge a good cleaning on the inside as well. Cleaning supplies should be neatly put away, and the dishwasher should be empty.

5. Bring Out the Best in Your Bathrooms

By their nature, bathrooms are meant to be the most intimate spaces in your home. Hiring a cleaner for these rooms is never a bad idea, as a shining sink and bathtub will present an inviting scene to the right person. Removing any personal items from sight in always a good idea, so relocate them to under the sink and out of sight.

Put out some freshly washed towels to give each bathroom a livable and vibrant feel. Also make sure to keep toilet accessories out of view!

6. Dismiss the Bedrooms At Your Peril

Always make sure your bed is clean and as tidy as possible, and keep the space light and inviting. When you are expecting guests coming to your open house, a great way to keep things neat is to use a decorative bag. This will keep your personal affects safe and out of view. Store your personal items under the bed or in the closet, whichever makes the room feel more open.

These tips can be the difference between an indifferent buyer and a closed real estate transaction. Make sure your real estate adventure ends successfully by taking all these little steps towards a successful conclusion.

Barry Magee
Barry Magee is a Vancouver-based REALTOR® with Macdonald Realty at 4387 Main Street, Vancouver. He has an extensive background in marketing, and brings a consultative approach to the table for his real estate clients.