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Preparing Your Home for an Open House

Aug 17, 2007
Selling your home in a buyer's market. Walk your home, clean, paint and de-clutter.

Pay special attention to the kitchen, including the inside of the refrigerator, (yes, people open up your frig.) and the bathrooms. They say, here in the Valley of the Sun, including Phoenix, Chandler, and Ahwatukee, that "woman look carefully at the kitchen and bathrooms", "and men look at the garage and the yard."

I can not tell you the times I have shown homes with a garage that looked like a pack rat's nest. Throw it out, have a garage sale, however you do it, get rid of it, and organize, organize, organize.

From the outside in. If there are any oil stains on the drive, remove them and generally hose down or sweep the drive including the garage and outdoor patios.

If it's the season, and here in Phoenix if I'm going to put your home up on the Phoenix MLS, I want to see bright fresh flowers in the front yard. They can be in movable pots and you can take them with you. (If you are taking them, make sure this is clearly stated in the Phoenix MLS or the purchase offer.)

Continue with the outside by picking up any toys or other extraneous objects, and putting away (after using) all lawn equipment including mowers, rakes, shovels, etc.

Pets, like dogs or cats. Remove them for the day even if they are the nicest creatures in Phoenix, Ahwatukee, Chandler or Gilbert. They don't work for guests at an open house, and distract them from the business at hand, that of buying your house! Make sure all snakes, lizards, pet spiders, and fish etc. are well confined.

Open all blinds and drapes and for the day take off sun protective screens if they can be. The object here is to let as much indirect sunlight in as possible to make your home look bright, cheery and inviting.`

Turn on additional lamps and lights while temporarily increasing the wattage to 100 watts if your lamps are rated for the same. If not, put the highest wattage rated bulb you can in as many lights as you can.

Remove excess clutter, vacuum, and clean, especially, again, the bathrooms and kitchen. Don't forget to make the beds, all of them, even juniors. Lock away all of your valuables. A special note.

In all the years I have been in the business of buying, selling and investing in real estate, I have never had things stolen during an open house. That said, better safe than sorry, and do NOT ever tempt as in leaving money around.

If you hired an agent to put you in the Phoenix MLS, and he or she is hosting the open house, make arrangements to be away the days of the open house. Allow the agent to do their job, sell your house. That is what they do. If you are holding the open house, whether or not you have an agent and are listed on the Phoenix MLS, answer any questions, point out up to three features you absolutely love about the house or neighborhood, great schools is especially good, then let the folks wander. They want to look at your house, not become best friends.

Follow this advice in Phoenix, Chandler, Ahwatukee, Gilbert or Mesa or anywhere in the country and you'll do just fine selling your home in a "down market".
About the Author
Philip Rosenberg
Realty Experts, Inc
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