Our Real Estate Blog
Getting your home ready to sell entails quite a lot. Staging, taking photos, stocking the toiletries, and--in the case of an open house--entertaining guests. You want the visitors to your home to feel welcome and like they could live there someday.
To achieve this it takes planning and an eye for what really “works” in your home. To do this you’ll have to let go of everything you’ve made your home into and turn it into a blank slate where others can imagine it fitting their personal taste.
In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on preparing your home for an open house or showing to leave the best possible impression on your visitors.
Remove yourself from the picture
It might be sad to take down your family photos and personal effects, but imagine yourself in a visitor’s shoes. When you enter a home you’re thinking of buying, you don’t want to be distracted by what the previous family did with the home. Rather, you want to look forward and imagine your own family making a life there.
Even the most minimalistic of homeowners tend to accumulate a lot of stuff over the years. However, walking into a home filled with items is distracting from the features of the home. You want to draw people’s eyes toward the best characteristics of your home--whether that’s spaciousness or architectural features.
We suggest packing your belongings by room and renting out a storage facility while you wait to move into your new place.
Working with someone to stage your home is a guaranteed way to make sure your house looks welcoming for your guests and photos. However, if you plan on doing the staging yourself take a look at some similarly styled homes online to find out what looks good in their photos. When we furnish our homes, we do it based on our personal taste, comfort, and utility. Staged homes are about aesthetics and atmosphere.
Once you’ve finished staging, it’s time to clean up after yourself. Wipe down surfaces, polish wood, and clean the windows.
Don’t neglect the exterior
The outside of your home is as important as the inside. It will be visitor’s first impression when they arrive at your driveway. To prepare, make sure your siding and windows are clear of dirt, the lawn mowed, the gutters cleaned, and the doors freshly painted, if necessary. Sweep the driveway and remove any yard tools from sight.
Your real estate agent knows how to run an effective open house. However, here are a few key things to remember on the day your guests will arrive.
First, light a candle and use air fresheners where necessary. A neutral smell is the best option, but an air freshener is better than a bad one if there are parts of your home that are prone to bad smells.
Next, make sure the bathrooms are stocked with toilet paper, tissues, and clean towels. If yours are getting old, it could be a good time to replace hand towels altogether.
Finally, welcome your guests with a new welcome mat at the front door to make a great first impression.
Build your dream home; in your mind. Put together the ultimate dream home. Take a journey to discover what your style is and help you when it is time to go shopping in the real world. Through researching and playing with ideas, you can narrow down those features and styles you love. Online searches, Pinterest and magazines are all great places to hunt for new things to put into your dream home. One way to start this adventure, begin with one room and design it top to bottom. You can put the ideas in a journal, up on a bulletin board, or even create a digital file on your computer. The important part is to find things you like and do not be afraid to have several options for the same space pictured.
Kitchen the Gathering Spot of the Home
Somehow everyone ends up in the kitchen when you have a gathering. Such a popular place is a great room to start your dream building exercise. While bells and whistles are fun and you may be tempted to start with the in-wall wine rack, you will want to start with the basic floor plan first. The layout and function may not be flashy but will be essential for your long-term enjoyment of the kitchen space. Deciding how much storage space you might need and what kind of pantry you would like will help you design a workable room. Also remember the work triangle when you plan out placing the refrigerator, sink, oven, and cooktop. Kitchens in an open floor plan are part of the greater gathering and eating areas without walls to separate the spaces. Tying the design of your kitchen in with these other spaces will create a cohesive look.
The Master’s Space
When you reach the end of your long day, a tranquil space is a bonus and necessity. This room can help you keep your mind and body from holding onto the daily stress. Planning your master bedroom and bathroom spaces will enable you to custom plan your de-stressing routine. Color palettes and lighting make this room relaxing and inviting. Choosing items like large soaking tubs or double-head steam showers will get you dreaming of a retreat oasis. Remember, there are no rules when you are designing for yourself. A dream house design has no budget so, go for it and create what makes your heart sing.
Find an open house in your area and find two or three things you can include in your dream home design.
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Let's face it – the mere thought of informing family members about your decision to pursue a new home may cause your blood pressure to rise. However, there are many reasons why it often is beneficial to notify family members about your decision to kick off a search for a new residence. These reasons include:
1. You can identify and address potential homebuying hurdles.
Your family typically has your best interests in mind. As such, family members can help you plan ahead for the homebuying journey and resolve any potential conflicts.
For example, family members can help you analyze prospective home financing options. They may even be able to put you in touch with local banks and credit unions that can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, once you have home financing in hand, you can enter the real estate market with a homebuying budget at your disposal.
2. You can gain homebuying insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
Family members who previously bought homes may be able to provide you with property buying insights that you probably won't receive elsewhere. With these insights, you'll be better equipped than ever before to understand the housing market and make the best-possible homebuying decision based on your individual needs.
Of course, family members may be able to keep you informed about new houses that become available in your preferred cities and towns too. Because if family members know where you want to find a home, they can help you accelerate your property search.
3. You can receive plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey.
Your family is there for you during good times and bad. If you inform family members about your decision to pursue a new home, they can provide you with comprehensive support throughout the property buying journey. As a result, family members can work with you to help you achieve your desired homebuying results in no time at all.
When it comes to getting help in your quest to discover your dream house, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert assistance as you proceed along the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent is committed to helping you find a great home at a budget-friendly price. First, he or she will meet with you and learn about your homebuying criteria. A real estate agent next will craft a personalized homebuying strategy and notify you about new homes that become available that match your property buying criteria. And once you discover your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to purchase this house. Lastly, if your homebuying proposal is accepted, a real estate agent will help you finalize your home purchase so you close on this residence and move into your new house.
Take the guesswork out of buying a house – hire a real estate agent today, and you can seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.