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It’s cliché, but it’s true that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. When you’re selling a home, an open house provides the perfect opportunity to attract buyers—and you’ll want to do all you can to put your home’s best foot forward.
The very first thing people see when they drive up to your home is its exterior. Curb appeal is important, and regardless of how much work you’ve put into the inside, if the outside looks scraggly, unkempt, bland, or unwelcoming, prospective buyers will have a negative first impression.
Check out these ideas for improving your curb appeal:
● Paint your front door to freshen its look. A new coat of paint also adds a pop of color on your shutters or wood porch.
● If your sidewalk is cracked, replace it with a stone or brick path. Repair or resurface driveways, too.
● Trim shrubbery and bushes, especially those close to your home’s walls.
● Splash some color along the walkway in flower beds or window boxes, or group terracotta pots together with a variety of vegetation. Want to try container gardening? This color wheel will help you create foolproof designs.
● Put in new porch lights and upgrade door hardware and door knocker with paint, polish, or a complete replacement.
● Have a post-mounted mailbox? Improve its looks with paint or a different treatment around the post, like climbing flowers or a stone or brick enclosure.
● Update your house numbers, especially if they’re hard to see from the road. Most house numbers start at $2.00 apiece, but customized number plaques can cost significantly more.
● If you have lackluster landscaping, plant a tree! But make sure you’re researching the best tree for your area.
● For even more curb appeal secrets that add charm to your home, check out Country Living’s design site.
Staging sells. Not only do staged homes sell faster, but they sell for a higher price. Whether you stage your home yourself, hire a professional, or work with your realtor, taking time to set the scene adds another level of hominess and appeal for potential buyers. Here’s some advice on properly staging your home:
● Thoroughly clean and declutter. A general rule of thumb is to empty at least 70 percent of your home of your belongings.
● Highlight storage space. Keep closets, bookshelves, and cabinets mostly empty to enhance the storage you have.
● Depersonalize by removing family photos, kids’ artwork, and evidence of pets.
● Address cosmetic issues and minor repairs. Here’s a list of the top 50 common home repairs you can make for $50 or less.
● Wash windows and window treatments.
● Pop a bit of color on the couch with throw pillows. Update bedding and towels in neutral colors.
● Add small touches, like spa items in the bathroom, a plate of cookies or appetizers, and a selection of drinks. Play some soft music. If the weather and time of year are favorable, turn on the gas fireplace.
Open house day
When the big day comes, don’t forget to secure these items safely out of reach:
● Medication and drugs. Strangers thinking about buying your home will look everywhere—including in medicine cabinets.
● Valuables and heirlooms. Store anything that’s small, valuable, and easily stolen off property.
● Animals. Board your pets or ask a friend or relative to keep them during the open house.
● Political messaging. Keep your home propaganda free. Remove magnets from refrigerators and posters from the yard or garage.
While technology has made it easier to take virtual tours—especially for buyers who are relocating and searching from afar—nothing beats an opportunity to walk through a house in person. Hosting an open house can help you sell your home quicker at a better price.