Spring good time for open homes

Not ev­ery­one at an open home­maybe a gen­uine buyer, butwho­knows whena ca­sual view­ing will trig­ger an im­pul­sive of­fer?

The Press - - Property -

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.

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