Expert Eye

Open houses and getting your home sold

Some easy-breezy steps to make the process a fun affair

Holding an open house can be a great way to  get  your home  sold.  Here are four easy-to-remember steps that might help you.

Step 1: Plan and prioritise

You need to identify what improvements are required.  Discuss this with your real estate agent and make a realistic plan that fits your budget and time frame. Be business-like in your approach and set aside your emotions.

Identify who the target audience might be so you can prepare accordingly. Your agent can help you determine what type of buyer your area is attracting. To establish an emotional connection  between  your buyers  and  the  home, develop  a  perception  of value for money and make your  home  appear  ready for  immediate  occupancy.  Jot down problem areas or those that need embellishing.

Once you have finished your list, address the issues quickly.

Step 2: Tackle big-picture projects

General fixes you should consider making are:

Cleaning  –  Pay  special attention  to  your  kitchen and  bathrooms;  they  pose the  biggest  turn-off  to potential buyers if dirty.

De-cluttering and depersonalising – Put away family photos.  Clean and organise closets and storage space.

Fixing  what’s  broken –Make  sure  all  broken windows,  loose  door handles,  leaky  faucets  and non-functioning  light switches  are  in  working order.

Painting – Painting your interior walls in neutral colours is one of the most cost-effective ways to make your home show well. Paint can also work wonders on outdated cabinetry.

Replacing flooring, carpets or floor tiles – Try cleaning and repairing damaged flooring, or replacing it.

Updating light fixtures – They are the jewellery of a home.  Buy inexpensive, contemporary fixtures, or revamp the old ones.

Step 3: Focus on the details

Use these tips to fine-tune each area in your property:

Front yard and entryway – Keep your lawn mowed and well-maintained. Plant colourful flowers.  Replace old welcome mats and door knockers.  Give the front door a fresh coat of paint.

Living  room  –  Arrange furniture  to  create  a focal  point  around  an entertainment  suite  or  a large  window  to  create  a “wow”  factor.  Disguise old sofas with fashionable coverings.

Kitchen  –  Remove  magnets  and  photos  off  the refrigerator  and  clear  off countertops  with  non-essentials. Add stylish accessories.  Use greenery to fill empty corners.

Bedroom – Emphasise luxury and comfort. No extra beds, golf clubs, workspaces or  anything  that  does  not belong in a bedroom.

Bathroom  –  Put  new towels,  a  new  shower  curtain and fresh, fancy soaps. Dress up the space with candles or a silk flower arrangement.

Backyard – Make it a place where buyers can see themselves spending time. Add furniture and set out a tray with some cool drinks, or put out some coffee and snacks.

Step 4: Put on the finishing touches

Don’t forget these last-minute details:

Set out vases of fresh-cut flowers – They will make your home smell nice and add a splash of colour.

Let in the light – Buyers want a bright, open house, not a dark and dreary cave.

Turn on all the lights and open all the curtains.

Adjust the temperature – Keep the home comfortable, not too cold or too hot.

Safeguard your belongings – Stash valuables and prescription medications in a safe place.

Leave – Go see a movie, visit friends, or have a long lunch.  Spend the day out and about and let your perfectly prepped home sell itself.

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