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How to Prepare for a Successful Open House

Open House sign with arrow and white space.

The Long Beach, CA real estate market is one of the most in-demand markets in Southern California. However, any agent will tell you that having an open house is still essential to any sale. According to CNBC, if you put your home in the market and conduct an open house immediately after, the property can sell faster, and for a higher price

That’s why most articles that offer home selling tips will advise you to stage your home, which is only one step towards getting your home ready for an open house.


Simplify the space to make it easier for buyers to visualize the home as their own. Here’s how to get started:

  • Place excess furniture and décor in a storage facility. This will open up the space and create better flow, so that buyers can better appreciate the actual size and layout of the room. This will also make the space look less busy, so that buyers can see the home’s best features.
  • Keep your belongings inside closets and cupboards to keep the space from looking cluttered. Fold the laundry, put the dishes away, and keep food and condiments inside the pantry.

However, don’t fill your storage space to the brim. According to Zillow, buyers will want to take a peek inside your cupboards to see how they may organize their own things, so make sure that they look neat and organized on the inside. The real estate site advises taking out at least half of your thing to create the impression of more storage space.

  • Consider selling or donating items that are no longer being used, but are still in good condition.
  • Depersonalize the space by keeping family photos, school trophies, travel souvenirs, and similar items out of sight. This will make it easier for buyers to visualize the home as their own.

Clean up

You have to make sure that the entire property is in pristine condition if you want to impress buyers during an open house. Aside from doing the obvious, such as vacuuming the floors, removing stains from carpets and upholstery, and wiping the windows, consider power washing the exterior walls, backsplash, and tile floors. Replace the linens, covers, and drapes with fresh ones.

If you don’t have time, you can hire a professional cleaning service to deep-clean your home from the basement to the attic.

Make obvious repairs

There’s simply no getting around it – you have to make repairs for a successful open house. Though there are homeowners who sell their properties as-is, remember that buyers can use this as leverage in negotiations. If the faucets leak and the doorknobs don’t work, they will likely haggle down the price.

Some buyers might get put off by damaged fixtures and other issues altogether. They might not have the time, energy, or spare cash to make repairs after a purchase, will likely move on to another listing in the area.

That’s why it’s worth making small repairs before showing your home. In many cases, it’s better to get the help of a professional – if you don’t have as much skill or experience with repairs, you can end up doing more damage to the property, or worse, hurting yourself in the process.

Maximize curb appeal

When selling your home, it’s crucial to wow buyers as soon as they walk up to the property. Many buyers will do a drive-by of the home to decide whether or not going to the open house will be worth their time.

That’s why you have to make sure that the home’s exterior and front yard are in great condition. To maximize curb appeal, pressure wash the exterior walls and give them a fresh coat of paint. Clean the window panes, replace broken glass, and repaint the frames. And don’t forget the front door – make sure that the knob, locks, and hinges are working.

Clean the gutters, replace cracked tiles, clear away dry leaves, and make sure there aren’t any brown patches in the lawn. You can also bring in some potted plants and garden sculptures to add a burst of color to the front yard.

Observe proper open house etiquette

In most cases, the Realtor will be the one to receive guests and show them around the property during an open house. Many buyers prefer for the seller to not be there so that they won’t feel as awkward asking questions about the property.

But if you really must be present during the open house, observe proper etiquette – show up on time and be courteous when answering questions. Some sellers also offer drinks and finger food during open houses.

Ready to put your home on the market? List your property with me, Michael Thue. As a local expert, I help clients buy and sell single-family homes, townhomes, and condos in Long Beach. You can reach me at 562.299.3583 and Michael(at)socaltophomes(dotted)com.

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