Have you ever thrown a party for guests you’ve never meet? That’s exactly what it feels like to stage an open house. It’s unfamiliar and even a little stressful since you don’t know what these guests like and what they don’t. In this instance, the party is the staged open house and the guests arrive with very high expectations. Therefore, the process of staging an open house must be flawless. The house has to be at its absolute best, and you can’t just dump things in one corner of the house or the garage. Preparing for an open house takes time to perfect and is an important part of the go-to-market plan.
The best way to accomplish a flawless staging is in steps or phases to minimize stress and feeling overwhelmed.
Seven days before
This can be as early as a month before, but at least seven days before, offer a preview to real estate agents. They can provide valuable information and feedback about the house and how it shows. They can also weigh in on whether the pricing will meet the buyer’s expectations. Recruiting a real estate agent to help out with the staging process offers other advantages. Agents know what consumers look for and can help ensure you are well prepared to meet your guests’ expectations.
Also, make sure to clean the house and remove any clutter at least one week before the open house. Dive into the deepest ends and corners of the home ensuring they are as clean as possible. Remove any personal items (including all valuables) and even some furniture if possible, to maximize space.
Two days before
In the final days leading up to the open house, clean and dust everything again from top to bottom. Pay attention to all the small details and focus on making the house look squeaky clean. Vacuum all cobwebs, wash and wipe the windows as well as the windowsills inside and out. Buff all the surfaces, floors and appliances. Trim the lawn maintenance and sweep the garage.
Another important step in the last few days before an open house is going through every room and doing an odor test. It’s easier to get rid of odors two days before staging an open house, than at the last minute. If there are strong odors or smells, find the source and get rid of it. Air fresheners are temporary and will not mask odors
24 hours before
With just hours remaining in leading up to an open house, most of the staging should be complete. All valuables and personal items have been removed. There should be just a few pieces of furniture remaining to ensure more space for guests to move easily throughout the house. At this time, your home should be glowing and squeaky clean. This is the time you think the house looks too nice to sell. During the last few hours before the open house begins, open all the windows to let in fresh air. Arrange flowers in an attractive way in key areas of the house and get treats for your guests.
Once you have accomplished all of these important tasks required to stage your open house, go out to dinner and treat yourself for all your hard work.