Prepping Your Home for a Successful Open House A lot of people are trying to sell their homes right now. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 5.51 million houses were sold in 2017. So how do you make yours stand out? Some tips might include updating the interior, snapping sharp pictures, asking for the right price, boosting your curb appeal and advertising on major real estate sites. But those are just the basics. For a full list of advice on how to pull off a successful open house, read on. Clean It! This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth emphasizing: Clean your house. Get acquainted with your cleaning supplies, because you have the full gamut of household chores ahead of you. Mop the hardwood. Sweep up the dust bunnies. Scrub the kitchen and the bathroom. Plug all the knicks, cracks and holes in the walls. Hang fresh towels, switch out old fixtures, keep the toilet lids closed and organize the drawers and cabinets. However you clean, go deep, but toe the line between making your house spotless and dredging it of its personality. You want all the grit and grime picked up. Yet, you also don’t want it to give people the impression of a mausoleum and not a new home that could be all theirs. Depersonalize It At the same time, if you want to get your house off the market, you will need to depersonalize it to some degree. Take down any paintings or statuettes that you put up. Remove all pictures of yourself, your dog, your family, your framed diploma, and so on. Don’t strip it of all the furniture, which will make it feel empty or sterile. Then again, too much furniture might make the rooms seem smaller. Just a few nice chairs and tables, tastefully arranged, will do the trick. Removing Pet Odors and Stains Another heartbreaking task ahead of you: Remove all signs that you have pets. In this setting, other people just won’t find your cat or dog to be adorable, so remove pet odors and stains, especially from carpets. Vacuum pet hair and dander every day. There are vacuum models available that are ideal for cleaning carpet. Banish the “wet dog” smell that your canine companion might leave behind. Make sure that pet toys, litter boxes, leashes and collars, water and food bowls and other pet paraphernalia are stowed out of sight. As much as you love that pet, it’s a good idea to board it elsewhere during the open house. Whether that means at a kenneling service, or at a friend or family member’s place, is up to you. The Yard So far, you’ve concentrated on the inside of the house, but the outside is just as important. No one’s going to swoon at a property where the grass is parched, or kids’ bikes and an inflatable pool have been left out. Curb appeal goes a long way, so you’ll need to invest in sprucing up the exterior. Hose down the sidewalks. Pick out weeds sprouting in the driveway. Clear the yard of uncoiled hoses or garden tools. And if you like gardening, you can landscape according to each season you put your house up for sale – evergreen hedges, spring flowers, bushes that bloom midsummer, or decorate your porch with mums and pumpkins come fall. You may have invested years of DIY projects and personal touches in your home, and it can be demoralizing stripping all that away for somebody else. But pulling off a successful open house is necessary to getting it sold. True, these next few months are going to be hectic, but think of it this way: You’re moving on to your next phase of life. Why wait? For a helpful summary of what projects to focus on to prepare a house for sale, check out this link: https://www.kay-grant.com/blog/home-improvement/ Author Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.