Preparing Our Home for “Open House” Days

Once we had our home ready to sell, it was then important to actually prepare the house for the buying public. The real estate agents give you some advice.

The first piece of advice is to de-clutter the house. By that they mean to make your home look spacious. This might mean removing excess furniture, family photographs and so on. It also means to open up the curtains to create light and an illusion of space. Having mirrors on walls placed strategically can also increase the allusion of space. In the kitchen, have only the bare essential appliances on the benches.

We did a few extra things to enhance the looks and utility of our home. In the entry, we placed a polished wood planter box with a beautiful indoor plant. In the utility room downstairs, we placed a comfortable cane lounge suite with a television set on a polished wood cabinet in which were placed children’s games and some books.

Upstairs in several places we had more indoor plants while outside on our back patio on top of a picnic table we sat another indoor plant and our portable Weber barbeque. We set up a picnic table with an umbrella outside in our back yard on a paved area.

I have already mentioned the new coverings for our beds. These, with new cushions, were set up on the morning of the “Open House”. All the indoor plants were kept healthy outside in cool areas before the “Open House”.

None of what I’ve said above will work unless the house is clean and tidy. In our search for a new home we were often appalled with how untidy some homes for sale, were. It put us off straight away and we often didn’t get past the front door. So we made sure we dusted, vacuumed and made sure everything was neat and tidy. We didn’t forget the windows either. They were cleaned before each “Open House”.

Prospective buyers will look through every cupboard. So they need to be neatly arranged and de-cluttered as well.

Lastly, it is important that your house has a clean smell/aroma about it. Chose a scent that is not overpowering but does remove any odour.

Our author was a “Baby Boomer” looking to downsize his home for a quiet retirement. This article is to inform others in his situation. It is designed to make the whole process of finding your retirement home less stressful. Our author was a teacher for fifty years always looking for ways to improve outcomes.

Real Estate Photography Tutorial

Taking the right photographs of a property plays an enormous part in a potential buyer’s decision as to whether or not they are going to view it. The wrong angles and the failure to take advantage of verticals properly can turn a viewer off before you ever get the chance to speak to them about the home.

With that in mind we have compiled a step-by-step tutorial that should help you get the right photos and gain a much better chance of attracting interest in the property.

Step 1 – Get the Right Camera

Taking pictures of a property using a mobile phone or cheap camera is never going to cut it. The photos look like they were taken with a poor quality piece of equipment and this reflects poorly on the property itself. Make sure that you invest in the proper kit so that your photos come out looking great and can be easily adjusted in post-production if need be.

Step 2 – Invest on a Tripod

You don’t want your photos to look like they have just been taken on a random wander around the house. Instead, you need to ensure that they look as professional as possible. Using a tripod will provide some much needed stability to the camera, allowing you to line up your photos just right without having to worry about your hand slipping and ruining the shot. Better yet, having a tripod also helps when it comes to setting up verticals for the image.

Step 3 – Getting the Verticals Right

Experienced real estate agents will already be aware of the concept of verticals, but for those who are new to the game it is the idea of making sure that all of the vertical lines in a photograph look straight in an effort to make the picture look more attractive. A vertical is anything that looks like a line, such as a doors, window frames and walls. Ensuring that these look straight is all-important, as a slanted photo can put a person off the property before they look at it. This is where your tripod comes into play, as you can use it to ensure that your photographs are 100% level. If you’re unsure, use a spirit measure to double-check.

Step 4 – Get the Right Lighting

A property needs to look like it is inviting to make it more eye-catching for the average viewer, so make sure that you take full advantage of lighting to highlight the room. Try to avoid unnecessary darkness or shadow as it add a foreboding element to the photograph that can put a viewer off. Instead, arrange the room so that it looks more open and ensure that any sources of natural light are taken full advantage of. In some cases this may mean waiting a day or two to get the right conditions, but it will be worth it in the end.

Step 5 – Post-Production

Once you have your pictures, don’t be afraid to check them out and see if there are any elements that could do with touching up. If you have the right software this can be done fairly quickly without overly editing the photo to the point where it misrepresents the property.

Home Staging Ideas For When You’re On A Shoestring Budget

Home staging is the process of dressing-up your house before you present it to potential buyers. It is an important step in the selling process since the prospective buyer is greatly influenced by how the apartment is showcased. The basic idea behind home staging is to present an alluring snapshot of the apartment, which makes the buyer want to buy the place. Private home stagers are usually too expensive for most people, so here are some ideas to help you to show off your home on a budget.

Remove Personal Artifacts

The first thing to do in the home staging process is to remove all personal photographs like that of your family and pets. All personal touches that might remind the buyer that the place belongs to someone else, should be removed. This helps the buyer to imagine the house as his own.

Clean Intensively

A dirty apartment will drive away buyers quickly, so make sure that your house is properly scrubbed before the visit. Throw away useless things and garbage bags that clutter your house. Clean the house efficiently, so that it appears attractive and desirable. Transform your home, such that buyers will want to acquire it.


A simple way of attracting buyers to your property is by getting the apartment painted before their visit. A worn out, dirty wall will repulse the buyer and create a negative impression in their mind. A recently painted apartment looks clean and new. Also, the buyer will notice the fact that painting expenses have already been incurred, and they don’t have to deal with the additional expense.

Release Enticing Smells

Being greeted by a foul smell upon entering an apartment is the surest way to push prospective buyers away. Use a room freshener or other such pleasant aromas, but not too much of it as that can be bad too. Also, throw away all food articles that might create a pungent smell. To mask a smell that’s not going away, cook a fancy dish just before your buyer’s visit.

Clear The Exterior Environment

Nobody likes a crammed, over-stuffed front porch, balcony or garden. Make it a point to efficiently clean out these areas as it is what buyers see first. Remember, first impressions are usually lasting. Make sure that your garage and attic are presentable and tidy as a cobweb-filled attic and a dusty unused garage are hardly things you would want the potential buyer to see.