It’s fair to say that in the case of open homes first impressions really do count. When prospective purchasers walk through your door they’re not just there to visually assess; instead their every sense will be attuned as they consider whether this could be their new home, so you need to make it feel like their home.
Here are a few things to consider as you prepare your home on Saturday or Sunday morning for a viewing that afternoon.
What will your viewers “view”?
In the run up to placing your home on the market you will have hopefully had a chance to de-clutter and clean. But as you’re still living in your home there’s a chance that everyday items will be left on surfaces so be sure to tidy these away, but before you just scrape them in to an open draw remember that prospective purchasers will likely open those draws (and cupboards for that matter), so be mindful of leaving a good impression everywhere.
A last minute clean is always necessary, ensure that laundry is tidied away, beds are made, waste bins are emptied, cushions are plumped and everything is spick and span.
You want to be sure that your home looks, bright and spacious, so depending on the weather and time of day you may need to leave the lights on in all or some of the rooms.
How will they feel?
As we head into winter a difference in temperature between the outside and inside your home is to be expected, so you don’t need to heat your house to sauna temperature, but do leave some heating on, warmth is one of the most inviting things for prospective purchasers.
What will they smell?
Yes we’ve all heard the old adage that the smell of freshly baked bread or freshly brewed coffee sells a home, but to be honest the jury’s still out on that one… What we can be sure of is that any bad odours will certainly have a negative effect. So be sure to empty the rubbish bin. Think about the cleaning products you use, you don’t want your home to smell like a sterile hospital, that’s not necessarily very welcoming. Open the windows in your kitchen that morning to be sure you have removed any lingering cooking odours. If you keep pets in doors be sure the rooms they have been in are well aired, you probably don’t smell the “cat” or “dog” smell as much as a prospective buyer will because you live with it all the time.
What will they hear?
Hopefully some soft background music. Be sure to turn off your appliances (washing machine and dish washer). If you’re by a road keep the windows on that side of the house closed. If you have neighbours close by it’s often a good idea to let them know that you’re having an open home, a polite request that they don’t fire up the lawnmower or hedge trimmer will likely be accepted.