Don’t make these 5 common open home mistakes

Brent Palmer
Brent Palmer
Published on June 11, 2018

Preparing for an open home may seem like an easy project, you just clean right? There are several common open home mistakes homeowners make more often than you would think. Many just go about the process as if it is as easy as rearranging some furniture or adding in something pretty on a side table.

There is a lot more to it than that! Firstly, you need to know who your most likely home buyer will be and appeal to them, emotions play a big part in the home buying process.

Here is a list of the 5 most common open home mistakes so you can avoid them.

Open Home Mistake number 1: Not cleaning before you stage

Imagine that you are going to an open home yourself. You want to see beautiful clean carpet and windows, grout looking its best, dust free surfaces and clean ceilings and walls. Your average weekly house clean won’t touch half of these things. You need to make sure your home has had a deep clean. Here’s how to avoid this open home mistake!

Start with the ceilings, making sure they are clean and dust free around any vents, light shades and home ventilation systems. Walls get the same attention, especially above door frames and skirting boards, these spots are dust collectors. All benches, table tops and surfaces need to be wiped, clean and dust free. Floors need a extra good vacuum and tiles mopped and scrubbed if needed. Grout needs some attention too so it is looking its best. Windows inside and out need a thorough cleaning too. Check out the link for some tips how to deal with dirty grout.

It may seem like a lot of work, but once it is done you should only need maintenance cleaning during your open homes. A deep clean also sends a subliminal message to potential buyers that the home is well-cared for and helps them imagine living in the space.

Open Home Mistake No. 2: Leaving the wrong furniture in place

Large furniture, or too much furniture, can make a room appear small or cluttered.

You want to have two or three large pieces of furniture per a room. This will make it feel more open and the home will feel larger. You need room to move around and enjoy the space.

You also need to make sure the furniture you have in each room suits its purpose, what are you trying to show the room as. Treadmills in bedrooms are a good example of a no no, along with baby change facilities in the lounge or home office. Try keeping them where they belong or moving them out of sight for the open home. This gives the message the children’s rooms are too small for them to use properly. Try and find things that complement the room. A coffee table works perfectly in the lounge opposed to a computer table shoved in the corner.

Open Home Mistake number 3: Neglecting to stage storage areas

Potential buyers are going to open cupboards, wardrobes and pantry’s. After all, this could be their future home and they want to imagine where they will put all their treasured belongings.

Make sure these areas are tidy and clean. It’s a great idea to give your wardrobe some attention. Are things on hangers properly and in some order. Put shoes away rather than the bottom of the wardrobe.

Your pantry needs the same attention. If you keep fruit and veggies in there, check they are all stored correctly. A rotten apple is not the right kind of smell or message you want to send. Give your cupboards a little check too. Organised and nicely stacked.

How much space the home offers is a key point for potential buyers, it’s important to know what you have will fit into your new home.

Open Home Mistake No. 4: Ignoring the garage

All areas of the house need to look their best, don’t forget the garage. For some this area is a large selling point. The home handyman (or lady) will definitely be keeping a close eye on this space.

If you have loads of extras stored in here it might be time to sort through what you actually plan on keeping or what you have to give away or recycle. Storage containers or shelving units can hold an amazing amount of stuff, keep it looking clean and tidy while also giving the space a more roomier feel.

Open Home Mistake number 5: Assuming buyers won’t notice your lack of curb appeal

The first thing a buyer will notice when they pull up to the open home is the letter box, drive way and exterior of the home. We all know first impressions make a huge difference, so how will your home stack up on the day?

If you have front lawns, they need to be moved with the edgings attended to and gardens should be weed free. If your summer flowers have finished they should be pulled or have the dead heads removed also.

The exterior of the house should be clean and nicely presented. If the paint has seen better days it might be time to consider having it painted. This could make a big difference to the final house price or are you going to sell it as is. If you have a concrete driveway, having it water blasted is also a good idea, you will be surprised how much the colour changes afterwards.

Staging your home, inside and out, is a wise move. A little elbow grease now is well worth the time investment. But don’t make common open home mistakes that might negate all your hard work.

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Brent Palmer – Professional Real Estate Consultant

About the Author: The above article on Dont make these 5 common open home mistakes was written and provided by Brent Palmer, a local leader in the field of Richmond and Nelson Real Estate sales, marketing, advanced technology for home selling, and social media. You can contact Brent Palmer here, or at 027 544 9921.

He has helped many people buy and sell homes in the Nelson, Stoke and Richmond areas for years, and would love the opportunity to help you as well.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for helping people sell their homes in our Nelson and Tasman Region, as well as the marketing, social media & advanced technology for home selling that goes along with it. I’d love to have the opportunity to sit down with you discuss how we can work together to get you the best price.

I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Nelson and Tasman  towns  & neighbourhoods: Wakefield, Brightwater, Hope, Appleby, Redwood Valley, Mapua, Stoke, Tahunanui, Atawhai and of course, Richmond and Nelson City. Connect with Brent on Facebook and pretty much everywhere else.

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