Top 10 Tips to Prepare for an Open House When Your House is for Sale

When houses are for sale in Carroll County, MD and the surrounding areas, many homeowners want their REALTOR® to hold an Open House. It’s important to properly prepare for the open house when your house is for sale. Follow these “Top 10 Tips” for getting your house ready for an open house when it’s listed for sale.

Tip #1 – Curb Appeal

Make sure you have great curb appeal.When people show up to your open house, you want to make sure they want to go inside..because they like what they see on the outside.

house with curb appeal

Tip #2 – Plenty of Light

Make sure the shades are open and the lights are on, including hallway and entryway lights. Houses show their best when the rooms have plenty of light. When potential buyers walk through your house they want to see that it’s light and airy. They don’t want to see dingy darkness that seems depressing.

kitchen with natural light

Tip #3- Comfortable Temperature

Make sure your house is a comfortable temperature. If it’s cold outside, buyers are going to show up wearing coats. They will be bundled up and expect to walk into a warm house. They won’t stay long if the house is too cool. Instead, they will hurry to leave & get back in their warm car. Likewise, if it’s summertime, make sure the air conditioning or the ceiling fans are on, or both, depending on the outside temperature. It it’s a humid day, it’s also not the time to have the windows open. Humidity that creeps into a house can be a turn-off. Be sure your house is a comfortable temperature and not stuffy. The goal is to keep buyers inside your house as long as possible.

smart thermostat

Tip #4 – Clean

Make sure your house is clean from floor to ceiling. Buyers want to see a clean house; they don’t want to see dust, crumbs on the counter, dirty dishes in the sink or dishes in the dishwasher, even if they’re clean. Vacuum the carpet, sweep other floor surfaces, make them sparkle. Wipe away any cobwebs, both inside and out. Don’t forget to the clean every window, too, so the light can shine in. The cleaner your house (on the inside AND outside), the better it’s going to look.

Bucket of cleaning supplies

Tip #5 – DeClutter

Get rid of clutter. Nobody wants to walk through your house & see a bunch of “stuff” lying around. And while you’re at it, make sure you organize your closets, because yes, they’re going to open closet doors, so make sure they’re orderly. The same goes for kitchen cabinets…organize your dishes and non-perishables so they are neat. You want buyers, when they open your cabinets, closets and drawers, to see that they are organized, neat and spacious. If your closets, cabinets and drawers are full, buyers will think there isn’t enough room for their belongings, and will eliminate your house from their list of possibilities.


Clutter in a room in a house

Tip #6 – Eliminate Signs of Pets

Not all buyers love animals, and animal hair. If you have pets, do what you have to do so there are no signs of pets in your house. Put away the food bowls, the water dishes, the toys, the beds. Make sure your pets are not in the house, as well. Take them for a walk, a ride, to the park, a neighbor’s house. Buyers looking at your house will appreciate walking around without animals at their feet, making noises, or being disruptive. It’s important buyers have the absolute best experience touring your house.

Puppy laying on the ground

Tip #7 – Hide Medications and Valuables

If you have prescription medications and you keep them in a medicine cabinet, be sure you remove them before your open house. The same goes for medications that you might keep in the kitchen, on your bedroom nightstand, on your dresser…put them away so anyone who attends your open house doesn’t see them & isn’t tempted to take them. The same is true for jewelry and any other valuables. Put them away, out of sight.


Tip #8 – Get Rid of Odors

Odors. No one wants to walk into your open house and smell a horrible odor. If you have pets, do your best to eliminate any pet odors. Avoid cooking something the night before that’s going to leave a lingering odor. Likewise, limit the use of candles and air fresheners. Some scents can be offensive to some people. Overwhelming scents can make buyers think you are “hiding something” (even if you’re not). Odors will rush people out the door and they will have little to no interest in your house.

man holding his nose

Tip #9 – Clear Walkways

Make sure your driveway, other parking areas, sidewalks and all walkways are clear. First, it’s part of the overall curb appeal. Second, you don’t want anyone tripping and falling over debris. Ideally, you want a nice level, clear surface on which buyers can walk to and from your house. Likewise, make sure any walkways to the side and rear of your house are cleared as well. If buyers like your house, they will walk around the entire perimeter.

Cleared driveway and sidewalk

Tip #10 – Leave Your House

Yes, leave your house. The REALTOR® holding your open house has a plan in place, knows what to do, has the answers to the most frequently asked questions. More importantly, he or she is there to try and sell your house. After the open house concludes, your REALTOR® will then get in touch with you, provide feedback, and tell you how it went.

Woman driving a car

Thinking about Selling Your House in Maryland?

If you’re thinking about selling a house in Carroll County, Maryland or the surrounding areas, be sure to download the FREE “Ultimate Home Seller’s Guide”, so you can learn what to takes to get YOUR house SOLD!

Do Houses Really Sell at an Open House?

Have you ever wondered if houses really sell at an Open House? Find out the answer!

Do Open Houses in Maryland Really Work?

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