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Seller Checklist: Staging Your Open House

Tuesday, June 14, 2016   /   by Jeff Stoffel

Seller Checklist: Staging Your Open House

An open house may be the best way to show potential buyers your listing. A house might look nice in a few photos but not so nice in person, or vice-versa. So how do you put on the kind of open house that is likely to leave you with an offer? Our Open House Checklist can show you what to do (and what not to do) to increase your chance of putting on the best and most successful open house.

What to do before the open house:

You need to take your place from lived-in to open-house-ready. At a loss for where to start? Follow these suggestions!

  • Clean, clean, clean.

  • Work on your landscaping.

  • Get rid of any personal items (especially family photos).

  • Declutter the house—no knickknacks, please!

  • Plan the open house for off-hours, like weekends.

  • Create an info packet about the house.

  • Put up signs advertising the event.

  • Clear out the driveway so there is room for guests to park.

  • Manage the temperature so the home is not too warm or too cold.

  • Set out some fresh-cut flowers or other plants.

  • Turn on all of the lights and open the curtains.

What not to do for the open house:

Everyone has different preferences, but the following things may have an adverse effect on potential buyers. Avoid these mistakes when you’re planning your open house.

  • Don’t wait until the last minute to fix broken objects.

  • Don’t hover.

  • Don’t put on music.

  • Don’t run out of copies of the info packet you made.

  • Don’t have an overwhelming smell—whether that be cleaning products or cookies.

  • Don’t let your pets stay around during an open house.

  • Don’t leave any room or area in the house off limits.

The main objective of your open house should be to make prospective buyers envision your home sweet home as their own. If you follow these tips (and avoid the mistakes) you may be able to create an open house that does just that.