What could be better than a weekend full of open houses, encouraging people to tour homes and learn more about the benefits of home ownership? That’s the promise of the 2012 REALTOR® Nationwide Open House Weekend, Saturday and Sunday April 28-29, in which REALTORS® and real estate associations across the country will hold thousands of open houses in their local communities.
The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty agents will hold numerous open houses throughout the Nashville area in conjunction with hundreds of agents citywide. With housing affordability at record highs, real estate professionals are hoping this year’s event will be a big jump-start to the spring market, in which we are already seeing a significant increase.
Here are a few things to consider when preparing your home for an open house:
1. Go across the street
The first thing you should do is stand on your neighbor’s lawn, and look at your house. “It’s all about curb appeal,” said Rosemary Sullivan, a staging professional at Jack Conway Co. in Hingham. “That first impression when the buyer drives up to the home is very important. You really want to get them to stop.
2. Visit a model home
Go to a model home, and apply what you see to your own house. There is very little furniture. “You’re selling space, not furniture,” Sullivan said.
Tip: Take a leaf out of the dining room table to open up space.
3. Seriously declutter
This is the most common advice for a reason. Knickknacks, a crockpot, and week-old mail are not going to sell your home.
Tip: Put all the shower supplies in a bucket under the sink to open up the bathroom space.
4. Protect yourself
Clean off your fridge of all appointments and children’s report cards. “It’s a safety thing, too,” Sullivan said. “So many people come through the door, and they can see so much information about you.” It’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. Stand in doorway of each room
Every room has a focal point, like a fireplace or armoire. Make sure that the focal point of the room isn’t a negative thing, and plan around it to make the room stand out.
6. It’s the little things that count
Clean the windows. Play some soft music in the house. Rolling up the bathroom rug will make the small space feel bigger. Have your carpets cleaned. If you have a vibrant wall color, consider painting it over with a neutral color.
7. Take advantage of the nice weather
If the sun is shining, it can’t hurt to open up the windows and let the light in. Place some drinks in a bucket of ice in the backyard, or pick some of your own flowers to bring inside. Also, put away unnecessary porch furniture.
8. Lighten up
Bring as much natural light into your home as possible. Trim any shrubbery or branches that grow over a window. Do a walkthrough to make sure all the lights have working bulbs. If you notice a dark corner, put a light there.
For more tips on staging an open house, visit this slideshow at boston.com.