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Make an impact with your open-for-inspection

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Your home only gets one chance to make a great first impression. The way you and your agent choose to present your property at the open-for-inspection can make a significant impact on what potential buyers think and feel – and how much they’ll be willing to offer.

You may not realise just how much power you have to influence buyers at your open. Don’t sit back, cross your fingers, and hope that strangers like your home; control the situation and make sure people walk out your door excited about the house.

Here are nine tips for staging a truly effective open-for-inspection.

1. Spick and span

A thorough clean is vital, so sweep, dust and mop. Don’t neglect the oven or inside the cupboards; serious buyers will want to determine the exact state of the property. Your agent can probably suggest the services of a professional cleaner – they can be a worthwhile investment. It’s a bad look for a buyer to turn up while you’re still mopping the floors, so have the property ready to present well ahead of time. A clean, well-maintained property is a signal to buyers that the home is well taken care of and in top condition.

2. Inside and out

Don’t neglect the garden! Mow the lawn, prune any overgrown bushes and pull out weeds. Before each inspection, empty the letterbox and hide the wheelie bins out of sight. Make sure the house is easy to access by leaving any gates wide open, and keep the front path and entrance clear and well-lit.

3. Fix obvious issues

Undertake any small, simple repairs. Things like cracked plaster, chipped paint, and broken tiles are relatively easy to fix. They may seem unimportant, but small things will be noticed, and they detract from the positive impression you’re aiming to create.

4. A blank canvas

Remove clutter and personal effects. Go overboard and you risk the home feeling sterile, but a few cosy touches like a fruit basket or fresh flowers are probably all you need. You may love your quirky furnishings and knick knacks, but they make it a challenge for potential buyers to visualise their own belongings in the space.

5. Light and air

A well-lit, airy home appeals to buyers. Open the blinds and give the windows a wash to let in as much natural light as possible. In the evenings, make sure there are sources of flattering artificial light to illuminate your home. And strong odours are very off putting for buyers; if you smoke or have pets, you may be accustomed to the smell, but newcomers won’t be. Give the house a good air out in the days before the inspection. Temperature is also vital; ensure the property is warm in winter and cool in summer.

6. Have paperwork ready

Consider all the information potential buyers will want, like pest inspections, approvals for further development, or the renovation history, and have it on hand. That way you can hand it over as soon as someone requests it. Being upfront demonstrates transparency and honesty, which leaves a good impression. Marketing materials that people can take away with them for later reference are also useful, so have a chat to your agent about what you could provide.

7. Make yourself scarce

Resist the temptation to hang around for the inspection. A lingering owner makes people nervous, and you’ll be uncomfortable watching strangers in your home. Trust your agent to run the show. After all, that’s why you chose them in the first place!

8. Pick the time

Your agent can help you pick inspection times that expose your home to the maximum number of buyers. For example, on weekdays office workers may not be up to rushing to an inspection in the evening, and on weekends people might have kids in tow. But each property is different; the ideal time depends on the buyers that are likely to be interested in your property and suburb.

9. Animal house

If you have pets, they, like you, should be absent from the property during the inspection. Not everyone is an animal lover; some people are allergic, while others are put off by the mess. Signs of pet ownership should be carefully tucked away until your open is over

The aim is to present a well-maintained and cared-for property. Buyers want to know the home is in the best possible condition, so always make sure that’s the impression you’re leaving them with.

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