Here at Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, we celebrate Open House Month in April, and this is a wonderful time to have such a celebration because we are now in spring and are experiencing very pleasant weather. With this season upon us, there will be many homebuyers taking advantage of this weather to go out to open houses.
If you’re looking to sell your home, you want to make sure that it stands out from the others. Although our last blogpost specified on how to prepare an open house during the spring, these tips work for open houses for any time of the year. With that, here is some advice on how to get your home ready for an open-house showing.
To start off this blog, I’m going to remind you to always clean, clean, clean! Vacuum, dust, wash windows, scrub the floors, get rid of any unnecessary clutter, and do whatever else you can to make your home as spotless as possible.
Next, it’s important to not be at your own open house. Yes, I know it’s tempting to know right away what your potential buyers might think of the property, but they won’t feel comfortable saying what they truly think if you’re hovering in the background. If you need to compare this scenario to something, it might help to think about meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time. Sure, they smile and act as though they like you, but what do they really say about you once you’re out of earshot? If you want truthful feedback, give your potential buyers their space so they won’t feel the need to hold anything back as they share their thoughts with the realtor. Soon enough, the agent will relay the information to you, and therefore, all awkwardness will be averted.
Before your home is shown, take some time to set up the dining room. Although you should dedicate time to appropriately stage every room before any potential buyer comes over, one of the top things you should do is create a dinner-party environment in the dining room. Treat your buyer like a true houseguest and have the dining room table set up as if you’re about to have a visit from your close ones. You want your buyers to be able to create an image of themselves having friends and family over for a classy dinner, which they most likely will if they decide to throw a housewarming party in their new home.
I’m sure you have already thought about this next piece of advice because it’s a given, but be sure to hide any valuable belongings that you don’t feel comfortable leaving out when buyers come over. Obviously, anything big, such as a painting or portrait of some kind, doesn’t really have to be hidden because, unless the realtor and other potential buyers at the open house are completely oblivious to what’s happening around them, a buyer won’t be walking out with any conspicuous valuables without being seen. It’s the smaller items, such as any pieces of jewelry, that you’ll want to hide.
Speaking of storing items away, be sure to take down any family photos. You want your buyer to be able to visualize their own family in this home, rather than having the thoughts of the other family in the background and feeling like you’re moving in with them. Although taking down the photos can be a bit emotional, seeing as your photos are a main staple in calling a particular home your own, it’s necessary for the buyer to be able to see their self and their family in this potential new home.
What is probably the hardest, but most important factor, in preparing for an open house is to emotionally let go of your home. Given that you have spent several years in your home, there are memories that have built up throughout that can make it difficult to accept the fact that you’re now putting your home on the market. Despite all of this, it’s important to always remember that you will still have those memories, and by moving to a new home, you have the opportunity to create new ones.
“I am presently selling my home and am in the process of downsizing,” said Theresa Budich, a real state associate broker for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty’s Central Valley office. “Although, I plan on staying in my community, I am still experiencing some of the same feelings that many of my clients are, regarding change. My children grew up in my present home and it is difficult to separate the emotions from the practicality and the need to move on. Once you make the decision, you need to feel confident that you’re ready to make the transition to a new home and, in many cases, a new lifestyle. Our home often becomes an extension of who we are, but it’s critical to look forward to moving to the next stage of your life, no matter what stage it is, whether it be downsizing, or expanding. Change is healthy and very exciting.”
Preparing for an open house can be an emotional challenge, as it’s a significant move from one chapter of your life to the next. What you should consider, however, is that by selling your home to someone else, you’ll be making the buyer happy by providing a home that has held much of your own happiness throughout the years. So, when getting your home ready for a showing, have it provide the appeal that you felt when you first stepped into the home however many years ago. The home in which you have built your life is something to be cherished, so don’t think of the selling process as simply giving your house away, but instead think of it as handing down a piece of your happiness to someone who’s deserving of it.
If you’re looking for an open house in the Lower Hudson Valley or Northern New Jersey, visit this webpage, and to learn more about Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.