The Open House

By Rachelle Aurini
April 16, 2015

Let’s maximize the potential of your open house! It’s an effective tool for generating offers on your home!


Ahhhh the open house. Some sellers love them and some not so much. I personally think they are a fabulous tool to a) sell your property and b) get as many people through your home especially when it’s just been listed. This should cut down on the amount of showings that you have to leave your house for (if you choose to leave during showings which I also highly recommend).

Advertising it fully and effectively is up to your agent, but showcasing it in it’s best possible light is up to you. Here are some tips that you may find helpful!

1. Make sure your place shines!

Over and above the every day cleaning ensure the following:

Steam clean any carpets.
Wash or dry clean any drapery.
Shampoo or wash any upholstery.
Get those out of sight out of mind areas. In my house it’s my “get on a ladder” to dust the ceiling fan that shows everything spot. Other places to give a good clean are inside all the cupboards, fridge and stove (they will look). And make sure you check the corners for those cobwebs that sneak up on us all.
Give the windows a good cleaning weather permitting outside of course.
Remember all the usual spots like tubs, grout and toilets. Not fun but worth scrubbing.

If you don’t have time, consider hiring a cleaning company. It’s a worthwhile investment!

2. De-clutter.

This goes hand in hand with getting your home ready to sell, but make sure you also do a once over to prior to the open house to see if you can streamline your home even more. The less you have to look past, the easier it is for a potential buyer to visualize their own stuff in your home. Remember how we sell our home and how we live it in are two different things. Short term pain will hopefully pay off for you in a great selling price, and a fast sale.

3. Pre-inspection or previous inspection.

Consider getting a pre-home inspection done especially in areas where the market is hot and multiple offers are common place. This can speed up the sale and allow you to remedy any minor issues that may come up. I also tell my clients if they have an old home inspection, leave that out for prospective buyers to look at. They may still get their own home inspection, but it will ease their mind about your property.

4. Complete unfinished repairs.

If something has been bugging you for years and you haven’t got around to it, consider how it could deter a prospective buyer. I’m not suggesting pouring thousands into your home, but a coat of neutral paint, refinished hardwood floors (if you have well worn carpet hiding hardwood it’s a good investment), ripped wall paper, exposed wiring or any other details that you notice may also be noticed by your prospective buyers.

5. Check outside!

It’s so easy to get caught up inside and neglect curb appeal but many buyers can form an opinion on your property quickly just from the outside so be critical here as well. If you notice that your driveway really needs to be resealed consider the cost. Clean gutters of all debris and make sure your gardens (if you have them) and lawn are manicured. If it’s winter make sure everything is shovelled. That goes for the side of the house too or under the deck where we all tend to hide things we haven’t gotten around to throwing away.

6. Light it up!

I can’t tell you how often I have gotten the comment “it’s so dark in here.” Please make sure that all the lights are working – if bulbs are out change them and open your blinds. Light goes a long way in setting a mood for your home. Cleaning windows can also help with the brightness!

7. Hide your valuables and store your fragiles.

Make sure everything valuable is out of sight, on you or in a safe somewhere. In 10 years I have never had something stolen from a clients house, and I want to make sure that never happens to you! Anything fragile should also be put away to ensure that it doesn’t get broken.

How we sell our home and how we live in it are two different things. Try to put yourself in the buyer’s position and think about what you expect when you tour a home. Putting your best foot forward can save you time and ensure there is more money in your pocket at the end of the day!

For more information on buying or selling, contact me anytime by phone (905) 574-4600 or email