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Open Home Guidelines

Preparation

Always make sure that your home is 100% ready for viewing. The little things can make a big difference to the first impression your home will make on potential buyers.

If there is a particular time your house looks at it's best (i.e. sunlight on the deck etc.,) or a time surrounding noise is at it's quietest, consider holding your Open Home at this time.

Here are some ways you can show it off to perfection:

  • Make sure the house is spotless. (If necessary consider using a professional cleaner). Get rid of as much clutter as possible.
  • Pay attention to the bathrooms and toilets. Towels should be fresh and clean and coordinate with the rest of the décor. Sinks and baths must sparkle and the floor gleam. Try some pot-pourri or lovely soap. All toiletries should be stored away in a cupboard. Toilet seats down.
  • The kitchen is the hub of the house. Make sure it is spotless and free of all clutter. Don't forget to clean and tidy the pantry and cupboards too. Empty all rubbish bins.
  • Make up all beds and tidy all wardrobes – they will look much bigger.
  • Consider your homes “street appeal” think of all those people who will do the drive-by viewing to decide whether it's worth coming inside. Mow the lawns, weed, trim tree's and shrubs, wash the patio or decking and clear away all clutter and rubbish. Empty and clean the letterbox.
  • Take particular care of the approach to the front door. Make it look inviting, sweep away any leaves, maybe place an attractive pot plant. Touch up any chipped or faded paint and polish any metal fittings. Splash out on a new doormat.
  • Open all curtains and blinds to let in maximum light. If you have any dark area's in your home turn on a light or two to brighten them up. Check all lights are working and clean any dirty bulbs or globes.
  • Display fresh flowers in vases in the living areas.
  • Light the fire in winter or turn on heating to add extra warmth and ambience.
  • Make sure your home smells good. The aroma of brewing coffee and fresh baking help turn the house into a home. Make sure there are no pet or greasy cooking odours. Air the house out before the Open Home, but make sure the home is warm (especially in the colder months), use air fresheners sparingly.
  • Remove pets from the house, or at least keep them outside. Ensure that they are secured so that they won't worry or annoy visitors. Ensure all fur is removed, use an upholstery cleaner and deodoriser if necessary.
  • Clean all windows inside and out. Make sure all window sills are clean and free of cobwebs etc.
  • Identify and fix any maintenance issues. Replace washers in dripping taps, blown light bulbs, oil any squeaky hinges, fix sticking doors and windows.
  • Make small rooms look more spacious with the addition of a mirror or by removing extra furniture.
  • Consider removing any family photographs to enable prospective buyers to create mental ownership of your home. Remember you want people to picture the property as theirs not yours.
  • Make sure your agents points out any unseen improvements to prospective buyers such as insulation, double glazing, under floor heating, in-wall sound and any future proofing features in the house.
  • Have some soft ambient music playing in the background. This helps with atmosphere and also helps to cover awkward silences and allows people to talk to each other more freely.
  • Disconnect the phone so the ringing won't interrupt the viewing.

Security

Whilst the risk of damage or theft from your home during an open home, should not be underestimated, given that the vast majority of Open homes occur without any incident, the risks should be seen in their true statistical perspective.

The following guidelines will help you to keep yourself, your home and your property safe:

  • Never allow any prospective purchaser to enter your home without the agent being present.
  • Confirm that your agent is recording the name and contact details of every visitor before they enter your home.
  • Remove from view any items of value such as cash, jewellery and other small valuables. Keep them in a safe, locked area or cupboard.
  • Take all keys out of locks, ensure all car, house or garage keys are locked or hidden away.
  • Draw the agent's attention to any items/ areas which might be particularly delicate or sensitive to touch or movement i.e. antique furniture.
  • Carry out a thorough inspection of your property at the conclusion of each open home to satisfy yourself that everything is in order. Report any irregularity to the agent immediately, and if necessary the Police.
  • Check that your household insurance is up to date and that it covers any loss or damage resulting from an Open Home.

If you require any further assistance in selling your property, please contact us today.