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Top 5 Ways to Get Your Home Open House Ready

By in Blog

Guest Blogger: Kelly Chakerian

Selling your home? Want to get top dollar? Surprisingly, there are a few simple (and affordable!) ways that you can make your home look and sell for top dollar by changing a few things around before potential buyers come to your Open House!

Remember, even though you live in this house and have many personal and meaningful items that fill your home, this is the time to look at your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. What COMES with your home? The kitchen, the bathrooms, living spaces… and what can you do to highlight those rooms? That is what this list is meant to encourage. Here are some ways you can highlight the positive attributes of your home that are going to make potential buyers leave wanting to place an offer!

So grab a laundry basket and open the attic, 95% of this process is REMOVING items from rooms rather than adding things. You’ll want to store these items somewhere where buyers won’t be looking or put in storage temporarily.

Here are the TOP FIVE ways you can get your home ready for an Open House with these few simple staging and design tips!


DECLUTTER all surfaces of your “stuff”. Kitchen countertops should be rid of little appliances, papers, little items and anything that doesn’t serve to show off your kitchen! Bathrooms should have clean countertops with no toothbrushes, hair appliances etc. Take items off your dressers, tables, etc that don’t serve a beautifying purpose or compliment a room. Dinner tables should have one larger item in the center like a bowl of fruit or a vase of flowers, but remove all other clutter like napkins, salt and pepper shakers, papers, etc.

You may even have a few rooms in the home that need furniture removed because it “overstuffs” the room or disrupts the flow. Talk with your realtor or a designer/stager that your realtor recommends about each room of your home and if you have furniture items that should be removed.

And then CLEAN! Every room in your house should be clean and picked up. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service one time before your first Open House to make sure that your floors are vacuumed and mopped, counter surfaces are all dusted and wiped down, and your home smells fresh. Ask your realtor for their recommendation of a professional cleaning service.

Here are some examples of a few rooms that were decluttered and cleaned! Notice in the first photo of the kitchen, living room and office area the rooms weren’t necessarily a total mess… but had a lot of “stuff” on the counter surfaces. See the afters and how they are now cleaned and decluttered and the room looks so much more appealing! These rooms now show off their full potential just by removing a few items.


Before and after kitchen counter prepared for an open house

Before, there are personal items on the counter as well as other items that don’t serve to show off the kitchen although useful for everyday life.
After, kitchen surfaces are cleared, the only thing added was a small plant and a candle for scent & beauty!


Before and after desk space preparing for an open house

Before, desk space is cluttered with personal items.
After, items are removed and this clean space is left to show off the window & natural light that this corner of the home brings!


Before and after living room preparing for an open house

Before, clutter fills the ottoman and area next to the couch. Although purposeful, they take away from the beauty of the space.
After, excess items are removed & you are let with a clean and tidy space that highlights a bright and inviting living space.


2. DEPERSONALIZE (a little)

This is similar to what you will be doing in decluttering your home, but a step further. You may have spaces in your home where you have collectibles or a large family photo display. Though these things are special, they can be distracting from the room itself. Remember, you aren’t showing off your sons toy car collection, you are showing off his room and the potential it can have for another buyer! Remove unnecessary personal items in rooms that distract your buyer from the potential of a room.

Some photos kept up in rooms are totally fine! Again, ask your realtor for their opinion on some areas in your home that may need to be depersonalized.



Have you ever walked into a store or a house that smelled so good and you immediately felt welcomed? Smell has such a big part in a home feeling cozy and inviting! Make sure to light candles in bathrooms, living areas and especially in the entryway. It will make your home immediately inviting!


Plants and candle preparing for an open house


Florals (whether fake or real) also add a natural design element that is inviting and grounds a room. Consider adding some greenery in the living space, or some florals on the kitchen counter (pictured above). This green plant in the living room adds beauty to the living space while not distracting from the room itself.


Window with a bench and shelves organized when preparing for an open house


4. Make your rooms feel LUXURIOUS

There are simple ways to make regular rooms feel luxurious and very appealing to a buyer. Your realtor may even have some of these items on hand to help a drab bedroom feel like a hotel or a simple bathroom feel like a spa.


Bathroom with towel and lotion prepared for an open house


Some of my favorite items to consider adding are full throw pillows and a beautiful duvet on the beds, a nice soap dispenser in the bathrooms with beautiful hand and bath towels and a great smelling candle. For the kitchen, add fresh florals on the dining room table or counter and candles. Candles are such a simple way of adding scent to the house, but also the “luxury” of the home!


Bedroom prepared for an open house

Neutral bedding with pretty and full throw pillows make this Master Bedroom feel inviting and like you’re in a hotel.


Don’t feel like you have the “eye for design”? Stick to neutral colors for the bedspread and pillows, towels etc. Warm & bright neutrals will make any room feel luxurious and you don’t have to think about things “going together.”



And lastly, LIGHT! Open all your curtains in the home, blinds, and let all the natural light into the home that you can! Turn on the lights in all the rooms as well. This will prevent from the home feeling dark, dreary and uninviting. This may be the easiest thing you can do to make your home look its best.
Don’t forget that your realtor is an incredible resource for you for questions you may have as you start the process of getting Open House ready. Your realtor can point you in the direction of professionals that can help serve you as well!

Good luck!


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