7 Steps to follow before the first Open House.

You're about to embark on a new adventure in life. But first, you need to sell your current house. Before you let a bunch of real-estate-hungry strangers into your closet, make sure you do these five crucial things that many sellers totally forget. 
You’ll thank me when you get that over asking price all-cash offer. (Hey, a girl can dream!)
1. Hire a Home Inspector.
Particularly if you've lived in the property for 4 years or more.  An inspector will be able to identify any hidden trouble areas that might scare off potential buyers and you'll be able to make repairs before Open Houses begin.   
There's nothing worse than a contract falling out due to the home inspection. 
2. Hire a Professional Stager.
Having a objective third party preview the house before potential buyers do is like having a dress rehearsal before the big show. This is particularly important if you plan on living in the property while it's listed because you are no longer objective about the spaces you see everyday. 
A Professional Stager will be able to identify areas that could keep your house on the market longer than it needs to be if not addressed. He or she will be able to recommend fixes to curb appeal, furniture arrangements, over personalization and bring your property close to model home perfect.  
3. Edit, Edit, Edit.
In other words, declutter, pare down, donate, organize.  I can't stress this enough. The more you can get rid of the better: off season clothes, sports and exercise equipment, kitchen appliances, holiday decorations, musical instruments you're hoping that, buts let's face it, your kids are never going to play again.  
I tell my clients to set the goal of being able to the floor (preferably in it's entirety) of every closet in the house. EVERY CLOSET. This will immediately make a house feel bigger. If you must, rent a storage unit temporarily.
4. Depersonalize.
How can potential buyers imagine themselves living in the space if they are staring into the framed faces of your adorable children, your wedding photos, college degrees, political or religious affiliations, latest family vacation, monogram painted above your bed or Bennie Baby collection anywhere within site?  See #3 if you have any other questions.
Remember that you want potential buyers to connect with the space. The faster they connect, the higher the potential for them to make an offer even if they later find things they may want to change.   
5. This includes anything pet - related.
So Jack, the turtle, Iguana, snake, hamster, rabbit, cat or even dog should be relocated offsite as much as possible. While some buyers won't mind him, others will be super grossed out by evidence of animals (and may even assume that the floors or carpeting has been damaged). Remove all pet food, toys and litter from sight, and take Jack on a little vacation for the duration.
This will also help the house stay cleaner and smell better all the time.
6. Wash the windows "I'm looking for a cave like house that gets very little light," said no one ever. ever. Make sure your windows are working for you by letting in as much natural light as possible. 
Having them professionally cleaned just before pictures and the open house will make them appear newer and higher quality, too. (Even if they secretly predate the Reagan administration.)
7. Leave 
This might seem obvious, but when it comes time for open houses and showings, GET OUT! Your realtor can do a much better job than you would showing potential buyers around.  Remember, you selected your Agent because they are the professional, and you trust them to do their job.
Worse than having family pictures on the wall, potential buyers will be immediately put off if the current inhabitants are in "Their Home".  So just go. 
It may seem like a lot of work to get your property to sell, but when your house gets multiple offers the weekend of the first open house, it will have been well worth the time and effort. 


Are you planning on listing your home for sale this year?  

Let MK Staging and Design help you Sell with Style. 

Call today! 301-657-9795

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