How to Stage Your Home for an Open House

Improve odds of selling your home

staging for an open house
Staging for an Open House

Preparing for strangers to stroll through your home for an Open House can be stressful!  And yet there are absolutely some dos and don’ts when it comes to planning for an Open House.  If you’re wondering how to stage your home for an open house, take the following tips seriously.  Chances are, you’ll have a better chance for potential buyers to return and potentially make an offer on your home.

DO:

De-clutter

Make sure all those miscellaneous piles are gone, and not just shoved into a closet or cabinet – especially if you have children.  Get rid of it. Also take time to straighten up closets and drawers and cupboards.  People attending your open house are likely to open all the doors in your home and snoop.  Consider removing furniture items that aren’t necessary as they’ll help your home appear larger and more open.

Power-clean

Power-clean everything, not just the typical surface clean for company coming over.  Dust every inch of the house including baseboards, vents and ceiling fans.  Power scrub the bathrooms and kitchens especially – corners of the floors and countertops and cupboards.  Take the time to edge the carpets and stairs.  All the windows should be streak-free inside and out.  And don’t forget mirrors!

Make repairs

Your house will be looked over and critiqued, so make sure things are in pristine condition.  Make sure wall dings are repaired and painted over, all lighting fixtures are in working order and have functioning light bulbs and any cracks in tiles are replaced.  No drippy faucets, either!

Update

If you have peach colored walls somewhere, paint them.  Dated wallpaper?  Remove it.  Also bold colors that are your favorite, might be a turnoff for potential buyers, so neutrals are a good idea for walls and surfaces.

DON’T

Show your personality

That means take off the artwork from the fridge, along with photos and magnets.  Remove the family shrine that has developed over time – buyers don’t want to see bookshelves full of photos of the kids growing up.  Consider replacing giant wall portraits with basic framed art.

Forget what’s behind closed doors

Is your fridge a mess?  Clean it – wipe out the shelves and drawers and remove anything that might cause an odor.  Also have that oven sparkly clean.  And don’t forget what’s behind the garage door – sweep and straighten the garage as well.

Leave the animals behind

All evidence of pets should be removed for the open house.  No pets around, no pet fur, no doggy dishes or toys.   And if it’s winter, once the snow melts, don’t forget to clean up the yard.

Finally, on the day of your open house, take one final critical look at each room and fluff the bedding, open the curtains and make sure the lighting is at its best.  Shovel or sweep your front walk and make sure your entrance is welcoming and tidy.  Another nice touch is adding fresh flowers throughout your home.  You’ve done your part – now let the experts take over and hopefully, sell your home!

The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.

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