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6 simple things you can do to create the perfect open home environment

By Julie Ryburn
In Home Loans

So you found a good agent, signed off on the paperwork and your house is officially on the market. Now’s the time to kick back, let the agent do their thing and watch the buyer interest soar, right?

Wrong.

Sure, your agent will do the majority of the legwork during this time. But ensuring your home is shipshape and ready to shine at every open home is a great way for you to support the sales process.

Here are six simple things you can do to create the perfect open home environment, every time.

1. Do a deep clean

This one’s a no brainer. Your house will look a million bucks after a decent deep clean – that means paying attention to the nitty-gritty details like skirting boards, window frames, bathroom tiles and grout and all other major surfaces. Streaky windows? Get out the squeegee. Dusty shelves? Reach for the feather duster. And that notion goes for your stuff, too. Make sure your pad is tidy, and everything is in its place. Your visitors are looking for their new dream home or investment opportunity – not a salvage job. A dirty or untidy house will put people off in an instant. Get it right the first time and you’ll set yourself up for smaller, touch-up cleans from week one onwards.

2. Let there be light

Walking into a dark property isn’t exactly a great first impression. You’re going for bright and airy, not dingy and dank. So before every viewing be sure to throw open the curtains, roll up the blinds and fling open those windows to welcome as much light and air into your home as possible. Using a few floor lamps in corners is a good option too – just make sure you don’t clutter up the floor space too much.

3. Strike the right scent

There are a few ways you can use smell to guarantee a warm, welcoming environment at your open home. Of course, there are the classics, like lighting a candle or oil burner – uplifting citrus scents like orange and lemon work best. But if you want to step things up a notch, have a batch of freshly-baked cookies sitting on the kitchen bench for that ‘home sweet home’ vibe.

4. Get the temperature right

Selling in winter? Your number one priority is to make that house feel as warm and cosy as possible before every open home. Striving for a summer sale? Turn on the air conditioner, flick on the fans or open those windows to keep your viewers cool, calm and collected. You don’t want chattering teeth or sweaty palms at times like this.

5. Make your pets scarce

We know you love Tigger the cat, Fred the dog and Roger the rabbit… but the people considering buying your home might not. The best thing you can do is remove them from the equation – that goes for any food bowls and litter trays too. So ask a neighbour to pet-sit, or simply bundle them up in your car during open homes. Your pets, that is – not the neighbours. It’s a wise move that will also help to quickly eradicate any remaining odours thanks to Fred’s dog food or Tigger’s toilet.

6. That goes for you too

Your agent will tell this to you straight, but consider this a friendly reminder: staying in during your open home is not a good move. In fact, it can feel downright odd. Potential buyers don’t want to see the current owner kicking back on their favourite recliner with a coffee and paper in hand. What they do want is to be able to visualise themselves in that space. So do yourself a favour and leave the house. Go for a walk. Drive around the block a few times. Visit a friend. Whatever you do, steer clear and let your agent run the show.

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