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Have you decided to put your Des Moines home on the market? As a seller, putting your home on the market also means you need to get it ready to sell as potential buyers have a discerning eye. While many buyers go on the internet looking for homes, having an open house can usually seal the deal, as long as your home is ready. Here are some tips to prepare.
The first impression of your home comes from when buyers are walking up to the front door, so it’s important to view the outside of the house as a potential buyer would. Walkways and driveways should be clear of debris, hoses should be put away, and if possible, park your car on the opposite side of the road so there’s nothing obstructing the view of the home. Trim back any branches or bushes that are overgrown, and pull any weeds that may be visible. Spruce up the front entryway with some potted plants or a new doormat. Additionally, if your mailbox or house numbers look weathered, consider replacing them.
Your home should be clean and pristine when holding an open house, otherwise buyers will notice. Whether you hire professional cleaners or choose to do the work yourself, everything should be spotless from the windows to baseboards. Wash the carpets, clean the grout, make the oven shine, and clean out and organize closets and pantries. Potential buyers will look everywhere, so make sure you’re thorough.
Make Necessary Repairs
When people tour your home during an open house, you want them to focus on the positive attributes of the house, so it’s very important that you don’t give them anything negative to focus on. If your walls are painted in non-traditional, loud colors, it may be a good idea to tone them down a bit by painting with more neutral toned colors. Is your bannister wobbly or do you have a bad step on the stairs? Buyers will notice, so you need to do small repairs like this. Change the burned out lightbulbs, fix the garbage disposal that’s been out of service for six months, and make sure the caulking around the tile is all filled in. All of these repairs will add value and make a difference in the amount of offers you receive.
The key to a successful open house is to stage the home so a potential buyer can picture themselves living there. Remove overly personal items such as knickknacks or children’s artwork from the space. Your small kitchen and bathroom appliances should be stored away so that the counter space appears larger. Minimize the amount of clothing in your closets so they don’t appear crowded. Pack up the toys and accessories belonging to your children or animals. By removing these items, your guests will be more likely to be able to visualize themselves and their belongings in your home.
Room size is a deciding factor for many potential buyers, so you want to make sure the space you have is well represented and that the furniture doesn’t make it look smaller. Remove any bulky or unnecessary furnishings from the home and situate the remaining furnishings so they create a nice flow to each room. You want to make sure during an open house that your rooms are being used to your advantage. For example, if you have turned a bedroom into an office, it’s a good idea to remove the office fixtures and add bedroom furnishings back into the space. You’ll receive more offers marketing your home as a three bedroom than you would with a two bedroom and an added office.
An open house is the first chance for buyers to see your home, so you want to make sure it looks its best. After you prepare everything, allow your agent to host your open house and know your house is one step closer to getting sold. What do you look for in an open house?