Top Tips for a Successful Open House


An open house is a terrific opportunity to draw buyers into your home and potentially land a sale.  However it’s important to make the best possible presentation, and some homeowners can miss important preparations.  Follow these tips to ensure your open house is a smashing success!


Enhance curb appeal.  Don’t underestimate the power of curb appeal.  If your home doesn’t offer home shoppers an attractive exterior package, they won’t be interested in viewing the interior.  Create an entrance that draws buyers’ eyes.  Landscaping should be tidy and welcoming.  Plant colorful flowers along your walkway, install a new mailbox, refresh the paint on the front door, put out a new welcome mat, and consider laying sod if your front yard is weedy or weary.  Remember, as U.S. News & World Report notes, the entrance to the home sets buyers’ expectations. 


Update the inside.  Your home shouldn’t look dated.  Potential buyers will prefer an interior with stylish, contemporary appliances, and some studies show a high return on the investment.  Choose stainless steel, and while you’re at it, you should replace any faucets or hardware that appear worn or stained.  Similarly, show off your home’s highlights.  Hardwood flooring should be exposed, and windows with great views should be displayed. 


Stage properly.  Be sure to depersonalize and declutter your home.  Sure, you still live there, but you’re trying to sell the property.  Potential buyers often can’t see beyond what’s in front of them, and you want them to be able to picture themselves in the home.  Remove personal photos and display artwork instead.  Take your children’s crayon drawings off the refrigerator door and put away knickknacks.  And absolutely remove anything that some home shoppers might find offensive.  As Bankrate explains, your political statements or hunting trophy can put off potential buyers.  The object is for shoppers to be comfortable and “at home” in your home. 


One opinion is that you could take decluttering too far.  Put a few decorative items on your kitchen countertops.  Stow your mixer and toaster, but set out a vase of fresh flowers and a bowl of fruit.  It’ll warm the space and feel inviting.  Also, you should make any repairs prior to your event, such as fixing leaky faucets or loose doorknobs.


  1. Your home should be spic-and-span for your open house.  Pay special attention to rooms like the bathroom and kitchen and ensure all surfaces are spotless.  Tile should be cleaned thoroughly, and glass shower doors should be free of grime, mold, and mildew.  Eliminate the evidence of pets throughout your property, stowing items such as bowls and food until after your event.  Be sure to air the home and oust any lingering odors as well.  The day of your open house, either take pets with you or leave them with a friend or boarding facility. 


Flex rooms.  While flex rooms are wonderful and attractive to buyers, it’s important to present a flex room with a single purpose.  Rooms that lack direction can feel confusing and cluttered, even if you’ve cleared away excess items.  Choose one purpose and display it well, whether craft studio, home office, exercise space, or playroom. 


Vacate the premises.  You should not be present for your open house.  Allow your real estate agent to act as the host, and find someplace else to be.  Shoppers will be more relaxed and free to discuss their options, and you want them to be as comfortable in the space as possible. 


Open house success!  Make sure you give your property the best possible presentation at your open house.  Ensure potential buyers can envision themselves living there, and show off your home’s features in the best possible manner.  With these tips, your event is sure to be successful!


Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.


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