Your First Successful Open House Appearance
Published on November 28th, 2019

Looking to get your home ready for a successful open house, but don’t know where to start? The key to achieving top dollar sale for your home is to avoid these common home-buyer turnoffs. Entering a home for the first time shouldn’t mean shushing the dog as you walk in the door or being hit with any odour that isn’t freshly baked cookies! Nightmares like these can be avoided by presenting your open house in the best possible light.

Curb appeal, curb appeal, curb appeal

You’ve heard of the phrase “location, location, location” but you can have the most beautiful landscape but absolutely no curb appeal. Just has location determines the initial interest in a property, curb appeal is the first impression of any potential buyers and it should be a positive one! According to Design and Dwell Homes, “buyers make up their minds about a home within 8-15 seconds of walking into the home.” Knowing that you can’t possibly fool yourself in thinking the first impression doesn’t matter. Landscaping doesn’t just end at making sure you’ve mowed the lawn. Unfortunately, for those of us who have no interest or time to invest in landscaping beyond that. Investing in a trusted landscaper who can take on that burden for you is one solution. If that’s not an option, trimming scraggly trees and shrubs, removing anything dead and beyond revival, weeding, mulching garden beds, should be on your top list of landscaping priorities. Buying a couple of colourful flower pots to live on your front porch. Even though most of the year we deal with snow, you can still invest in some winter planters with decorative ornaments to dress up the front of your home.

Avoid bad smelly rooms


You may have heard that phrase come out of one of your friends mouths growing up. There’s no denying that when you enter a home for the first time the home has it’s very own special odour. They might say, “Oh, it doesn’t smell bad, it’s just different” but in the case of an open house different is enough to turn any potential buyers away. So, go get your friend to come back to your home and tell you if there is still a lingering smell.

In the end your home should smell as pleasant, natural and clean as possible. Home odours are the number one on the home selling uh-oh list. Odours that linger from cigarette smoke, or the general pet smell take top billing along with mildew following close behind. You may have gone “nose-blind” to the smell of your home, so take the time to wash your pets regularly, take out the trash more frequently, cook with the fan on, and of course let some air in through your windows! Nothing smells better than a clean house, and that’s the difference you’re after.

Avoid Dark Rooms during an Open House

Dark Rooms

So you want to show off your home to its maximum potential right? Then you’ll want to make sure that you’re not giving the illusion to guests that your house is smaller than it is, by keeping your home dimly-lit. Show buyers the home that you are proud of and open those curtains and blinds. Replacing bulbs and turn on fixtures or add additional lamps to dark rooms. Remove any glass globes around lights, clean and dry them before you put them back up. If you have the budget, repaint any dark coloured rooms with a lighter colour of paint and don’t forget to paint the ceiling too. There are a few cost effective ways to lighten up a room that are also low commitment…

  • Change bedding, throw pillows, area rugs, curtains, blinds and bedroom accessories to brighten the room overall.
  • Create the illusion of a larger room by using a mirror to reflect existing light into the room.
  • Updating your light bulbs can take them from a warm yellow to a true bright white light.

Also, by trimming any trees or bushes around windows that might be blocking windows from receiving light will add a difference. While you’re doing that clean those windows and free them off any debris or bug carcusses that you might come across.

Avoid bright paint colours and nosy wallpaper

Paint-Palette and Chatty Wallpaper

If wallpaper and brightly coloured rooms are your thing, remember that you chose them specifically for your taste. When selling your home rarely do visitors like the decorative touch you’ve added if it includes busy wall paper or lime green or bright yellow walls. Paint colours or decorative wallpaper impede on the potential buyers ability to see your home as their own. Take a minute to determine if your walls need to be re-done or touched up. Warm and neutral colours such as; beige, ivory, taupe, or light gray will work in your favour as they are known for making rooms more inviting and brighter.

Avoid Dirty Bathrooms during an Open House

Dirty bathroom

A clean bathroom is so important to the sale of a home. It can be a make or break for some buyers just as the kitchen can be. Grimy and cluttered bathrooms can be a major turnoff, so spend time scrubbing them until they sparkle! If possible, add new life by painting, buying a new rug, shower curtains and towel. If you can’t afford to make these changes make sure everything is freshly clean. Shower curtains can go into the washer, and a quick run of an iron over a towel can make it look crisp!

Get out of the way

Hire a trusted Collingwood real estate agent to show your home. Potential buyers feel really uncomfortable in opening up closets, lingering around the house for a thorough look. If you’re selling by owner, let the guests have some space and do not hover.

Most of these changes can be made without spending an arm and a leg. If you spend time doing these things now, before you put your house on the market, because if your house begins to be known for its smell, or rowdy pets among other agents then it will be too late. Your house will not be the first stop on their tour!

Contact one of our Fully-licensed REALTORS® today!

Looking for an experienced REALTOR® that specializes in real estate across Southern Georgian Bay? At Royal LePage Locations North we are focused on helping you unlock your future.