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As you get ready to list your house for sale, you should take some time to think about open house preparation and what you can do to attract potential buyers. Here’s some tips and tricks of open house-to-dos that can be done relatively quickly and easily with little effort and big rewards!

Spruce up the First Impression

They say you don't get a second chance for your first impression. That's why it's important to prep the front of your home so that more people are driving by to stop in for a tour. Frame your home in a positive light from the very beginning. Typical checklist items to enhance the outside of your home include:

  • Pressure Wash Your House: You can pay someone to do this, rent a power washer for around $70-$100/day, or borrow one from a neighbor.
  • Create Consistent Borderlines: Show off how organized and maintained your home is by showing consistent borderlines in the front yard. Mulch is a great way to create a border between grass and tree/shrub/flower areas. Use an edger to have a strong border between sidewalks and grass.
  • Add Color: Make your yard more welcoming by adding some in-season color with easy-to-maintain flowers. Instead of brown mulch, try using a red or cedar variety.

Reclaim the Purpose in Your Living Areas

When you live in a home, you don't necessarily use each room for its intended purpose. Show the value of your home off to potential buyers by reclaiming each space for what it was intended so they can see the potential. This includes:

  • Entrance Way: Add in a narrow table, a decorative key holder, and perhaps a coat hanger/hooks in the entrance way to maximize this space for what it was intended — welcoming people into the home.
  • Laundry Room: Take all of the clutter out, and leave the essentials to get the laundry done — your washer/dryer, shelf/rack to hold laundry products, decorative laundry basket, and an area to hang/fold clothes.
  • Dining Room: Clear the dining room table of all clutter, and set the table, formally, as if a family was going to eat there.

Deep Clean the House

Potential buyers will be looking in all of the corners of your home, so make everything shine. When deep cleaning your house, here are a few places you don't want to forget:

  • Curtains, Bathroom Rugs, and Other Linens: Now's the time to clean what doesn't normally make it in your weekly/bi-weekly cleaning schedule. Replace anything that doesn't match and/or is stained.
  • Clean the Baseboards and Walls: Instead of starting a paint project, put in some elbow grease to clean up your baseboards and remove scuff marks from all of the walls. Don't forget to move furniture for this, as well.
  • Clean Shelving Units and Windows: Remove the dishes from kitchen shelves and books from bookcases and clean underneath. Shine your windows, both inside and out.

With a little money, effort, and time, you can turn your home into a buyer-magnet. And before you know it, you'll be at the closing table!

This material is presented for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual tax or financial advice. KeyBank does not provide legal advice.

By selecting any external link on, you will leave the KeyBank website and jump to an unaffiliated third-party website that may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. The third party is responsible for website content and system availability. KeyBank does not offer, endorse, recommend or guarantee any product or service available on that entity's website.

NOTICE: This is not a commitment to lend or extend credit. Conditions and restrictions may apply. Information and offers are subject to change without notice. All loans are subject to credit and collateral approval. Not all loans or products are available in all states.

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