Five Tips for Preparing Your Home for an Open House


Fairfax, VA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/03/2012 -- Your home is your castle, and it reflects your personal needs and interests, so when you decide to sell your VA home, how do you allow potential buyers to see how their own lifestyles will fit into your house? An open house is a critical step to letting people see how your house will fit their interests and needs. Here are five tips to preparing your home for an open house.

(1) De-personalize as much as possible. Your goal during your open house is not to have people wondering whether they could live in your home. It is to allow visitors to see that they definitely could, and want to, live in your home, so try to limit personal collections and photographs as much as possible. If one room in your home is dedicated to your Star Wars figurine collection, pack them up in boxes and stage the room to be a bedroom. If your home contains a lot of clutter, rent a storage unit and aim to remove at least half of the clutter from your home before the open house. The best Realtors will also help potential buyers to see how your home will fit their interests and needs.

(2) Organize closets and pantries. Potential home buyers will automatically associate a well organized home with a sense of calm and order. Make sure to organize even the areas that are normally concealed behind closed doors. Remember that people will definitely be checking to see how much drawer, closet, and cabinet space you have. Create a sense of order in your closet by hanging all of your apparel in the same direction on matching hangers. Pack away your extra dishes and leave only your best, matching set in your kitchen cupboard. Place all of your coffee cups so that the handles point in the same direction. Think “calm and organized.”

(3) Complete minor repairs. You may have forgotten all about your broken doorbell at this point, but this is something a potential buyer will notice. Get out the spackle, touch-up paint, caulk, and tools such as a screwdriver and wrench in order to complete small repairs around the house. Replace any light bulbs that have burnt out, patch any small holes or cracks, and replace any broken tiles. At the same time, if something cannot be fixed or repaired, figure out how to attract attention away from it. For example, if your kitchen is on the small side, removing all of the appliances from the counter can help it to appear roomier.

(4) Assess your curb appeal. Go outside and take a look at your house. Does it look inviting and welcoming? Consider power washing your siding, or purchasing a “home wash,” which is a hose attachment that you can find at home improvement stores. Put a fresh coat of paint over your shutters and trim. Clean out your gutters and replace holey screens. Replace your welcome mat, and give your front door a coat of paint. Mow your lawn and trim your trees and bushes. Add a few pots of colorful annuals to your front porch. A great tip to remember is that colors evoke specific emotions. Blue is calming, while yellow is energizing and is known to put people in a buying mood.

(5) Make your home sparkly clean. You want your home to shine, so make sure it is completely clean when people see it! Scrub every inch of your bathrooms, and polish the fixtures until they gleam. Focus specifically on the bathrooms and kitchen, as it is particularly distracting to home buyers if they are dirty. Vacuum all of your carpets, and wash all area rugs. Look all the way from the floor to the ceiling, and remember to clean both floor boards and ceiling fans. Your home should smell clean, too, so give it a spritz of air freshener or light a scented candle if needed.

When the time comes for your open house, you may also wish to consider leaving your home for the event. You can trust your Realtor to guide visitors through the home, and point out its best attributes. Whether you go out for coffee or take the dog for a long walk, you can rest assured that your house is in good hands, and looks lovely and inviting to all its visitors!

For more information about preparing your home for an open house, please contact Debbie Dogrul Associates. With over twenty years of experience in the real estate market and a team of certified, professional Realtors®, Debbie Dogrul Associates serves the northern Virginia real estate markets with integrity and a strong sales record. If you are in search of a good Realtor, look no further. Visit for more information.