How to prepare for an open house inspection

REAL ESTATE

You only get one chance to make that first impression So if you want to prepare for an open house inspection, there are a few things you can do ahead of the big day.

In order to prepare your property for inspection success, follow this easy check list packed with these simple tips to ensure you put your home’s best foot forward.

  1. Ensure your place is clean and tidy 

You’ll be surprised by how much better your house looks after a thorough clean.

Dust, vacuum, scrub, wash, buff – make all those annoying tasks earn their keep.

Don’t forget to clean inside ovens, cupboards and wardrobes, in case potential buyers are particularly curious.

Remove shoes from the entrance and any other trip hazards.

Get the big clean out of the way in advance, then keep your place in good condition while your place is on the market. That way, you should only need a refresh to prepare for a new inspection date, rather than a top-to-bottom makeover.

Clear out the mailbox and empty your rubbish bins – and, ideally, move the bins out of sight (especially if they’re normally one of the first things people will see arriving at your home).

Enlist a professional organiser or declutterer if you need a hand, and ask a friend for a second opinion on the quality of your work.

  1. Let in some light and air

Air out your home thoroughly before the inspection, so it feels as fresh and clean as possible. If potential buyers feel stuffy, they’ll head straight for the door.

If the weather and security permits, crack open a window or two during the inspections themselves, too, so that there’s a steady flow of fresh air.

Draw back curtains and blinds to bring in as much as light as possible and show off your house from the street.

  1. Remove your pets from your property

One of the most common complaints from potential buyers at open for inspections are those telltale signs you share your home with someone furry. If they’re not your pets, animal smells or stains can actively turn someone off your property.

  1. Add a few personal touches

A personal touch here and there helps your home feel less staged, and will often help prospective buyers to forge an emotional connection with your property.

Fresh flowers are a nice addition, for example, as are inoffensive pieces of art and bowls of sweets near the door that people can dip into on their way out. 

  1. Eliminate nasty odours

People fuss over the visual but often forget that a bad smell can make or break an open inspection.

Remove smells that are unpleasant, like stinky shoes, and watch out for specific foods that may not agree with everyone.

Counter the off-putting smells with flowers, candles, air fresheners or even freshly brewed coffee, but make sure that you don’t go overboard, and avoid pungent aromas like incense. You want your property to smell like a home, not a perfumery.

  1. Set the right temperature

Keep an eye on the weather and heat or cool your home so that it’s at an optimal temperature for buyers to walk through.

People shoudn’t raise a sweat or chill, and you need to demonstrate your property can effortlessly cope with the climate around it. You should be aiming to give them a cool or warm blast, depending on what’s most appropriate at that time.

If heating or cooling is malfunctioning and impossible to fix for inspection time, place fans or portable heaters strategically so they don’t get in the way but still do the job.

7. Make yourself scarce

While your house is getting the once over, you should leave potential buyers to wander your halls unencumbered and relaxed.

Coordinate with your agent and be ready to head out for a short time, taking any other family members or inhabitants with you (including the pets). And have a bag ready so that you can leave quickly in the event of an unplanned inspections.

Don’t forget to do a quick pass through on the way out, clearing away any new messes or misplaced objects, like toys.

If you don’t want to leave entirely, consider setting up an area in the house or yard that can act as your retreat while buyers explore. This way, you’ll be around for a chat if people want to ask about the home or the area, but not so close people feel they can’t browse in peace.