With so many beautiful homes in Doylestown, Jamison, and the surrounding areas, Bucks County homeowners looking to sell benefit from creative ways to make their home stand out in a competitive market. Open houses are a great way to make a memorable impression on prospective buyers, and with the right strategy, it can be a positive impression that increases your chances of selling.
There are, however, some major pitfalls to avoid when getting your home ready for an open house. Here are five open house faux pas, and what you can do with your real estate agent to avoid them:
1. Confusing “homey” with “really lived in.” You want your home to appear warm and welcoming and give potential buyers the idea that they could live there and feel comfortable. There’s a fine line, however, between comfortable and too comfortable. Before an open house, make sure there are no dishes left in the sink, no used towels in the bathrooms, and no clutter left anywhere. Clearing up the most obvious evidence that you live there gives buyers a clean slate to imagine themselves living there—plus, a neat and clean space inspires confidence in the good condition of your home.
2. Omitting the smell test. For your home to be appealing, it’s not enough for it to look good—it should also smell good. Of course, this means eliminating any unpleasant odors from pets, trash, or other causes. You can take it a step further, though, by not just getting rid of unwanted scents but creating pleasant ones. The smell of freshly baked bread or cookies automatically creates a feeling of home, for example. And if baking isn’t your thing, go for a candle or air freshener.
3. Forgetting curb appeal. While it’s crucial to pay attention to the interior of your home, don’t forget that the exterior is the first thing people will see. An unkempt lawn, broken outdoor furniture, unrepaired fences, or debris on the lawn or porch can turn buyers off before they even step inside. To be open house ready, maintain a well-kept lawn, clear up any trash, repair areas in need of fixing, and make sure there’s a fresh coat of paint on areas like fences and porch railings. Go the extra mile by adding inexpensive, stylish touches like a hanging flower basket or an accent pillow on a porch swing.
4. Sweeping things under the rug: Cleaning your home in advance of an open house doesn’t just mean sweeping things under the rug, shoving them in the dishwasher, or hiding them behind closed closet doors. Potential buyers are curious about every space in a home they are considering. They will look in closets and cabinets. They will open the fridge and the dishwasher. They will look in storage areas. To make a great impression, don’t hide messes—clean and organize them.
5. Leaving valuable or personal items accessible. People can make assumptions about you and your possible reasons for selling your home based on personal items they discover there. From medications to jewelry, it’s best to protect your valuables and your privacy by keeping them someplace that can’t be accessed even by curious potential buyers. An open house is a great way to generate interest in your home. Talk with your real estate agent about avoiding these faux pas to get the most out of your open houses and connect with potential buyers!