Planning the open home shuffle
If You're selling your home, having an Open Home gives your real estate agent the opportunity of meeting with numerous potential buyers in a compressed period of time (granted some may be nosy neighbours or people just out for an afternoon drive!). Regardless of the quality or type of visitors your Open Home attracts, you should make sure your home is 100% ready for viewing. Here are some ways you can show it off to perfection:
- Make sure the house is spotless. Pay particular attention to the bathrooms and the kitchen. In the bathrooms, towels should be fresh and clean, sinks and baths scrubbed, and the floor freshly cleaned. In the kitchen, make sure all dishes are put away, and bench tops cleaned and clear of all clutter.
- Take particular care of the approach to the front door and the entry.
- Display fresh flowers in vases in the dining room or living room.
- Have soft music playing in the background.
- Keep security in mind and put all valuables out of open sight.
- Open every window covering. All drapes, curtains and blinds should be positioned to let in maximum light.
- Make sure the house smells good. If you're not inclined to baking cookies or muffins, just make sure there are no pet or greasy cooking odours. Air the house out before the Open Home, but make sure the home is warm (especially in the colder months).
- Remove pets from the house, or at least, keep them outside.
- And most important, get rid of all clutter!
From a buyer's perspective, here's a list of details to look for when viewing an Open Home:
- Musty odours and any signs of rising damp.
- Condition of walls and ceilings.
- Condition of floors and floor coverings.
- Insulation and ventilation.
- Amount of natural lighting and whether light switches work.
- Condition of windows and doors.
- Size of living rooms and bedrooms.
- Kitchen layout and bench space.
- Built-in robes and storage or attic space.
- The number of power points and phone connections.
- Water pressure and leaks in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Laundry facilities.
- Floor coverings, curtains, blinds, light fittings and any appliances included in the sale price.
- Potential for expansion.
- Condition of exterior walls and paintwork.
- Condition of roofing, guttering and down pipes.
- Condition of gates, fences, retaining walls and paths.
- Signs of rot, borer or termite attack.
- Exterior buildings such as garage, carport and tool shed.
- Size and functionality of outdoor living spaces.
- The aspect of the building and how much sun, shade and wind it receives.
- Working order of pool or spa, if applicable.
- Amount of off-street parking.
- Privacy and noise levels.
- Large trees close to the house that may cause plumbing problems or block sunlight.
- Effective drainage and water runoff; and
- Question the legality of any extensions that have been added to the property.
If you're serious about purchasing a property, the next step would be to carry out a full property inspection, whether you do this yourself (if you have the necessary knowledge, experience and expertise), ask a knowledgeable friend or relative to do it, or hire a professional building inspector for the task.