Spring good time for open homes
Not everyone at an open homemaybe a genuine buyer, butwhoknows whena casual viewing will trigger an impulsive offer?
With warmer weather ahead, more people think about selling their homes.
One of the quickest ways to reach the most potential buyers is to hold an open home.
Occasionally these will be scheduled for a weekday and in summer, with daylight saving, weekday twilight viewing can be an opportune time.
However typically they run from half-an-hour to an hour on a Saturday or Sunday.
Whatever the time of day, make sure it’s optimal for the sun.
An open home doesn’t preclude viewing of the property by appointment but it does maximise exposure of your home in the shortest possible time.
Of course, not everyone will be a genuine buyer – expect a number of curious neighbours and passers-by acting on impulse to be among the throng as well as the occasional real estate tourist who wants some home decorating ideas.
But it is possible that even one of these visitors could be prompted to make an offer if your home is presented attractively.
The best way to make it sparkle is to clean every room, especially the kitchen and bathrooms. These should be spotless, so scrub sinks, shower cabinets and baths until they shine, mop the floor and hang fresh towels.
Spruce up the view from the kerb so buyers won’t make your open home a ‘‘drive-by’’.
Clear kitchen benchtops, don’t leave dishes in the sink, eliminate cooking odours, and wipe down cupboards, stovetops and refrigerator-freezers. If you have pets, remove from sight not just them but also their food bowls.
Also de-clutter the rest of the house so gadgets and bric-a-brac don’t make the interior feel smaller or stop visitors from imagining how their own possessions would look in the setting. This extends to hanging clothes tidily in wardrobes and organising drawers and cabinets, so when they’re opened, people will get a house-proud impression of the owners.
Make the house appear as light and airy as possible by opening curtains and drapes, pulling up blinds and opening windows to let in fresh air (but not so much as to make the house cold at this time of year).
The scent of freshly baked biscuits, muffins or bread can make a home seem more appealing – as can strategically placed vases of fresh flowers and soft music playing in the background.
It may even be sensible to ‘‘dress’’ or ‘‘stage’’ your home – put your aging furniture in storage and replace it with modern sofas, chairs and tables. (These can be hired from home staging companies.)
Don’t forget about what’s outside the house, either. Mow the lawns, weed the gardens, trim hedges, store bikes and tools, and try to make the approach to the house as tidy and enticing as possible.
Don’t embark on a complete makeover but undertaking minor repairs and maintenance can pay dividends.
Many buyers will drive by a property first and if they don’t like its street appeal, they’ll never get out of the car. So first impressions do count. Don’t leave shoes and boots at the front door and make sure the section is clear of litter.
And because there will be strangers in your home, lock up valuable or personal items.