How to nail an open house inspection


Mildura’s property market has continued its strong performance in April, May and June, with demand continuing to outpace supply.

Upgraders, investors, and first home buyers are feeling confident and are out in force. To compete, motivated buyers are having to move quickly soon after the first or second open house, and we are seeing well-presented properties achieving strong record results. In fact, our agency has sold 60+ properties in the past 6 months, with most selling very early in their sales campaign. 

In order to capitalise on this current market, there are elements to your sales campaign you have to get right. One key element is open house inspections. The objective of an open house, is for buyers to establish an emotional connection and picture themselves living there. 

How can a successful open house help you achieve a run-away result? How do you plan for an open home? Let’s delve into how you can create the perfect open house to help you take advantage of this current market.

An open house inspection is critical in this market.

Effectively presenting your home is key to maximising your sales price. It all comes down to presentation and first impressions for buyers will last. Remember, the objective is not just to sell; it’s to sell well and achieve a run-away result. 

We are seeing buyers strongly compete for well-presented ‘ready to move in’ properties; keen to start enjoying their new lifestyle. The correct presentation combined with the right atmosphere will set the scene for the home feeling “just right”, and for buyers to connect emotionally with the property. 

In fact, within the truly spotless homes we present, we often find impressed buyers will openly say to us – “this home is immaculate; it’s a true credit to the owners.” This feedback is extremely valuable – and if articulated within the open house, will result in other buyers feeling a sense of FOMO, leading to healthy competition. 

How to get an open house inspection right. 

Presentation and removing buyer objections is key to achieving a run-away result. There are many things you can do to get this right. While major works might not be within everyone’s budget, minor cosmetic changes can make a significant difference. 

Ensure anything a buyer can see is spotless and presented well. This includes paint, floor coverings, windows and window coverings, light fittings, architraves and skirting boards. 

Always ensure your home is de-cluttered, clean and tidy. Pressure clean driveways and pathways, and remove any rubbish from the exterior. Weed and mulch garden beds and prune trees close to your home to maximise natural light. 

If your home has eaves, consider painting the eaves to brighten up your exterior. Remember to use ceiling white and low sheen paint to hide any minor imperfections. 

Natural light and a true sense of space is critical to buyers feeling comfortable within the home. To enhance the feeling of spaciousness, clean and open curtains and blinds to let in as much natural light as you can. Clean windows and ensure flyscreens are well maintained. 

Consider removing any items or furniture that may look uninviting or deter buyers. Ensure furniture is placed in such a way, that accentuates your floor plan and allows for a natural traffic-flow throughout the home. 

Grout is porous and over time can get dirty and mouldy. If your bathroom or kitchen grout is looking dated, consider painting it to give it a fresh feel. 

Replace any blown lights and ensure all lights are switched on prior to the open house. If you have dated light-fittings, try replace these with modern pendants to elevate that clean and crisp feel. 

If needed, store some furniture away from the property to open up rooms and hallways, and ensure each room appears as spacious as possible. Even consider renting short-term storage during the campaign to store any excess furniture. 

Remember, it’s important to stop thinking of the property as “your home”, but rather a “house to sell”. 

The sense of smell can be very powerful when you are looking to create an emotional connection between your home and buyers. Freshly baked bread and brewed coffee may lead to a feeling of warmth and comfort, however remember to keep any scents subtle; to not overly affect those with allergies. An unlit open candle in the main living area can be just as effective. Also consider the food you cook in your kitchen prior to any open house, as strong cooking smells may linger in your home for hours, or even days.

If you have pets, arrange for someone to look after them during the day of the inspection, and try to ensure there are no animal odours within the home. 

Seek advice from a trusted professional – always.

Always speak with professionals who can provide you with an unbiased opinion and provide value-added insight. 

If you are finding it difficult to know where to start, speak with Mark who can help with information on what buyers may notice about your property. Often the ‘to-do’ list may seem overwhelming but speaking with a local professional can set your mind at ease.

Even if you are not considering to sell this year, a conversation with Mark will help you identify potential focus areas – to help you maximise your sales price when you are ready to sell.

Finally, do not feel offended with any advice you receive – remember, you are turning your family home into a “house to sell”. 

With Mark being one of Mildura’s most trusted real estate agents, he is well placed to provide you with his view of the current market based on his local experience. He’ll thoroughly guide you through the sales and presentation process and help you take advantage of this opportune time in the market.