Sell Your Home With These Open House Tips

One of the rituals of selling your house is the open house. While you don’t want to spend a lot of money on this stage of the sale, it is worth taking steps to ensure your home looks its best.

You want a home that stands apart from other homes on the market. So it makes sense to invest a little energy in getting your home fluffed up. The open house gives you a good deadline for improvements.

The sooner you sell your home, the more money you make. That’s because keeping your home on the market requires you to continue paying for utilities, taxes, and insurance on that home. The goal is to sell your home within three months of listing.


Attend to the first impression

Attend to the front of your home and the front yard. While you don’t have to hire a landscape designer to redesign your lawn, make sure it is nicely trimmed and features no weeds.

Look critically at your mailbox, exterior light, and the numbers on your house. If they are rusted, broken, or cheap looking, replace them. The front of the house needs to be inviting.

Make sure there is no peeling paint or signs of rot anywhere on the exterior of your house facing the street. Also fix any curled or dangling roof shingles and fallen gutters. Otherwise, potential buyers may drive on by to the next Sunday open house.


Make it super clean

Of course you clean your house. But it can be easy to overlook some areas. We become immune to our own splattered windows, disheveled laundry rooms, and dusty closets. But these areas attract a lot of attention from buyers.

Any sign of dirt in your house will call into question whether you’ve maintained the home. If you can, hire professional cleaners to do a “deep clean” of your home prior to the open house. The national average price to hire cleaning services is $167.

If that’s not in your budget, ask a friend or two to tour your home and point out spots to which you’ve developed a blindness.

Don’t neglect to clean inside and outside cabinets. Pay particular attention to corners where dirt and cobwebs gather. Make sure your house passes the smell test. Using a strong cleaner, like an ammonia or bleach solution, the day before the open house ensures that it will smell fresh.



If you are no longer living in your home, your realtor may suggest renting a few pieces of furniture for “staging.” This helps people easily identify dining rooms and bedrooms and mentally park their own belongings.

If you are still living in your home, you will probably need to reduce clutter. Hide eccentric collections, like Doctor Who action figures and a 100-piece ceramic cow collections.

Make sure no room has so much furniture that no one but you can figure out how to move around. Passageways from room to room and within each room should be easy to identify. 

If you have a detached utility shed, that can be a good place to store your excess items. Otherwise, it may be worth it to hire a storage space for a few months and place excess furniture and personal items there. The good people at HGTV say you should put half your belongings in storage when staging your home for sale.

In conclusion, you might find a buyer at your open house. And, even if you don’t, you want your house to look its best, every time it is shown. Clean, declutter, and make your house beautiful to passersby. Following these steps will result in an earlier sale and the best offer.



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.