Exterior shot of an open Wooden Front Door

Open House Checklist

Are you thinking about moving? Or maybe you’re selling your first home? Whatever the case, executing the perfect open house is an essential step in the home selling process. To help organize your thoughts and your home, here’s a checklist of the main things to accomplish before your open house.

De-Clutter Each Room

The best way to start preparing for an open house is by clearing it out so you can see what needs fixing. Remove all unnecessary trinkets you may have accumulated over the years off the mantle, coffee tables, kitchen counters, windowsills, floors, etc. Toys, shoes, old magazines, cables, cords and other extraneous items should be neatly tucked away or thrown out. It’s even recommended to remove some furniture to allow for all rooms to have an open flow. Realtor.com suggests following the “rule of three piles”—keep, donate and throw away.

Living Room in Luxury Home

Let There Be Light

It’s surprising what a little bit of sunlight can do! When the big day comes along be sure to keep all drapes and shades open to let in the natural light. A Lowes open house checklist goes as far as to even recommend washing your windows and screens so every radiant ray can find its way into the house. Replacing light sockets with higher wattage bulbs is another key factor in making your home feel welcoming, spacious and upbeat.


Cleanliness is Key

Make sure that your visitors are entering a spotless house. Remove any dust, keep the carpets and floors clean and replace any unpleasant odors with fresh scents of summertime with candles, air fresheners, cleaning products and more. Realtor.com offers some helpful tips for making that kitchen shine, such as cleaning the stovetop and fridge, as well as avoiding cooking large meals prior to the open house. The kitchen is the heart of the home—making a positive first impression has the power to make or break a potential buyer’s experience. Other key rooms that could use an extra hygiene boost include the master bedroom and bathrooms. Home staging tactics can also be useful when showing your home. Add simple enhancements such as flowers, coasters and other comforting home items on the kitchen table or coffee tables for a convivial effect.

Open House Checklist

De-Personalize Your Home

It’s essential to remove all personal items before welcoming interested buyers into your home. Zillow advises taking down unusual paintings or family portraits as well as any other pictures and trinkets that cater to personal preference. Although it may be difficult to part with this sense of personal pride, buyers must be able to imagine themselves living here. In order to successfully do so, a neutral environment that enables the interested imagination to run wild is essential.

Change Perspectives

As difficult as it may seem, it’s crucial to look at your home from an outsider’s perspective. Attending an open house is all about the potential buyer’s gut reaction—so what’s your gut reaction when you walk through the front door? RIS Media suggests touring each area of your home with judgmental eyes, and recruiting a friend to tag along. While perusing the residence, ask yourself questions like, is the room cluttered or clean? Are there repairs and updates needed? Are the rooms eye-catching and appealing? How does the overall atmosphere make you feel? What’s the first thing you notice upon entering the house? By pondering these questions, opportunity for improvements is made, and potential home selling success can more readily be achieved.

Interior of home with open doorway

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Great to have all the advice clear and precise. Agree with all

Helga Wetzold, on Friday August 14th, 2015 at 08:16 PM

Thanks for sharing this checklist. I like the concept of let there be light.

nvrural, on Thursday November 5th, 2015 at 07:44 AM

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