Open house secrets for sellers

l.a. home for saleThe more open space you can create the easier it is for potential buyers to picture themselves living in your home.

If you don’t have time to stage your home hire a professional.

Make the rooms feel bigger. Take one or two major pieces of furniture out of every room to create a sense of spaciousness.

Accentuate counter space. Put away kitchen appliances and personal bathroom items to give the illusion of more counter space.

Get rid of clutter. Throw out or file stacks of newspapers and magazines. Store out-of-season clothing to make closets seem roomier. Clean out the garage. As long as you are moving why not start now by packing a layer of items from each room that you will not be needing?

Depersonalize the rooms. Pack family photos, mementos, and distinctive artwork. Only leave out well accented pieces.

Add a touch of color. Use fresh or silk flowers to breathe life and color into the main rooms. A colored afghan or throw on the couch will jazz up a dull room.

Make the bathrooms feel luxurious. Pack or throw away those old towels and toothbrushes. When buyers enter your bathroom, they should feel pampered. Add a new shower curtain, fresh towels, and fancy guest soaps.

Help buyers envision living in your home. Set the table with pretty dishes and candles, and create other vignettes throughout the home to help buyers picture themselves there. For example, in the family room lay out a chess game.

Lay logs in the fireplace or put a basket of flowers there if it’s not in use.

An extra clean house makes a better first impression. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates. Mop and wax floors. Clean the stove and refrigerator. A clean house impresses upon buyers that the home has been well cared for.

Wash your windows and screens to let more light into the interior.

Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows.

Use higher wattage bulbs to make rooms seem brighter, especially basements and other dark rooms. Replace any burnt-out bulbs.

Make minor repairs that can create a bad impression. Small problems such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but can give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well maintained.

Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, trim the bushes, clean your gutters, edge the walks. Put a pot or two of bright flowers near the entryway.

Patch holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.

Freshen up. Nothing is more welcoming than a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color.