The most common home open mistakes

It’s no secret that buyers are spoilt for choice at the moment with over 15,000 properties currently listed on the Perth property market. With days on market at their highest in some time, ensuring your home presents well at a home open has never been so important.

Too many reminders of the owner

Buyers appreciate pops of personality in a home to avoid it looking sterile and monotonous, but buyers don’t want to walk into a museum of your personal photos, trophies and other memorabilia. Too many reminders of the owner can make people feel uncomfortable and it makes it hard for them to imagine how their things are going to fit into the space.

Linen choices in the bedroom

As the bed is such a big focal point of the bedroom, it is really important that the linen and dressing of the bed is not overlooked. Opt for neutral-coloured bed linen that suits the rest of your décor, and make the look luxurious with European and accent pillows.

Too much furniture

During home inspections, it is important that you allow for lots of foot traffic, and a good flow throughout the house. If potential clients enter your home and have to squeeze past lots of pieces of furniture, the space is going to feel cramped and frustrating.

Try putting the offending pieces of furniture in storage, or in a friend’s garage whilst your home is on the market. Don’t just stuff things in your own garage, because buyers are going to be looking in there too!

Missing house number

This minor detail is essential in attracting buyers to your home. Not only does it make your property easier to find for people, it’s one of the first things they’ll notice if missing. Make sure your house number is large enough to see easily, is in good nick and matches the style of your home.

Pet odours

One of the most common complaints from potential buyers at home opens are pet smells or stains, which are a big turn off. So make sure to clean all the bits of hair and fluff from the floors, furniture and curtains, and remove your furry friend’s toys, litter box and droppings from the yard.

It might be worth getting in a professional carpet cleaner to help deodorise any place your pet likes to be. To double check that you’re in the clear, grab a friend who doesn’t live with you to suss out the smell, as you may be used to it. And make sure to take your pets with you when you leave during home inspections.

Poor lighting

Your home inspection is an opportunity to showcase your home to buyers as an inviting place to live, and a big plus for buyers is an abundance of light. If your home lacks natural light, make sure you make up for it with extra artificial lighting.

Open up any heavy window treatments and switch on all of your lights. No buyer wants to enter a dark, cold home that feels closed off and dreary.

Cleaning up

It’s an obvious one, but we still have to mention it - our house should be cleaner than it has ever been for home open inspections! Don’t assume buyers will just ignore that dirty bathroom sink, or a dusty tabletop.

Remember that potential buyers are viewing your home for the first time, so they’re going to be critical of everything. Make sure you do a major clean up before inspection day rolls around, and maintain the same level of cleanliness before each home open.

Showing a home without furniture

It is a common myth in real estate that a vacant home feels larger to buyers, when in reality an empty room feels smaller and uninviting. If you’re in doubt, a few key pieces (like beds, couch, and dining room table and chairs) are good pieces to start with to help buyers envision how their furniture may fit in the home.

Overdoing the de-clutter

Yes, there is such a thing! There is a fine line between a well-staged home and one that has been de-cluttered to the point of looking empty and sterile.

You want your home to look inviting and appealing to buyers, and if you take away everything that gives your home style and personality, you could leave your home looking just the opposite. A few on trend accent pieces and homeliness will keep your buyers interested.

Setting the dining room table

Although it sounds nice in theory, a set table with all the trimmings can make your home feel over-staged and a bit phony to potential buyers. Try putting the cutlery and candlesticks away and keep it simple with a fresh bunch of flowers or a bowl of fruit in the centre of the table instead.

Neglecting the landscaping

In the weeks leading up to your first home open, it is important that you turn your focus to the landscaping of your property. Spruce up your garden, prune shrubs and hedges into place, and make sure you lawn is mowed and looking healthy and green. Buyers will notice dry, sandy lawns and weeds in the garden beds, and all they’ll see is more work for them!

Too many Christmas lights

It’s that magical time of year when Christmas lights illuminate the streets, but for the purposes of selling your home it’s best to keep these to a minimum. At the end of the day, your property is a product that buyers are looking to purchase, so it is best to make sure that can see what they’re getting.