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Preparing your home for an Open House


When you sell your home with a REALTOR, he or she will develop a comprehensive plan to market your home to potential buyers. This is one of the many services a REALTOR will provide to ensure your home sells in the least amount of time, for the highest price possible.

Your REALTOR may recommend an open house as a key component of your overall marketing plan. An open house is not only an effective way to attract potential buyers, but also a great way for your REALTOR to “showcase” your home to other REALTORS. 

A “REALTOR” open house is a good idea for many reasons. First of all, they may be already working with buyers who are interested in your neighbourhood. These REALTORS will inspect your home with their buyers in mind and will work quickly if they feel there is a potential match for their clients. 

Many REALTORS prefer to view a property before showing it to their clients so they have an opportunity to discuss the house with the listing REALTOR. Also, a REALTOR open house can be more convenient for you the homeowner, eliminating the need for several individual REALTOR inspections. Your REALTOR may also suggest holding at least one or more open houses for the general public.

This type of open house will attract many “browsers” of course. However, if your home has good curb appeal and is attractively priced, an open house could easily turn a browser into a buyer. 

Your REALTOR will probably suggest you hold your open house on a weekend afternoon which is when many people are driving around checking out neighbourhoods. It’s a good idea for you and your family to leave during the open house. Your presence could be distracting to potential buyers and they may feel uncomfortable about discussing your home while you are there. If you have pets, try to make arrangements to take them with you.

During the open house, your REALTOR will “register” each visitor and will try to walk through the house with them. Here are a few tips to make your house secure before the open house.

  • Remove or lock away valuables such as jewelry, cameras, compact discs, valuable coins and currency.
  • Attend to any potential hazards — electrical wires crossing open areas, sharp table or counter top corners, slippery stairs and walkways, fragile items that can be easily damaged.
  • In poor weather, provide a place for overshoes, boots, umbrellas and coats.
  • Avoid cooking food with strong odors such as fish. The scent of fresh-brewed coffee, home-made bread and cookies, on the other hand, can be very welcoming.

Your REALTOR will also give you suggestions on how to present your home in its best light. To make your home as “saleable” as possible, use this handy check list to assess what needs cleaning, mending or changing before the big day:

Floor coverings
(Includes carpeting, tile, linoleum, hardwood, etc.)

  • Dirty or stained?
  • Worn or damaged?
  • Is there hardwood under carpeting that can be restored?

Walls, ceilings, baseboards

  • Any fingerprints or stains?
  • Any holes, nails, tape residue?
  • Are they all neutral or complimentary colors?


  • Do they squeak?
  • Are the handles secure and work properly?
  • Any stains or other damage?


  • Are they clean and crack free?
  • Do they open easily?
  • Are the coverings clean and also easy to open?


  • Is there sufficient light?
  • Any broken switches; exposed wiring?

Pet areas

  • Are these clean, organized and odor free?

Kitchen and bathrooms

  • Are countertops organized?
  • Are all sinks and faucets working properly?

Other rooms

  • Have all areas been thoroughly vacuumed and dusted?
  • Has all clutter, including excess furniture, been collected and removed?
  • Are books, toys, clothes all neatly stored?
  • Do mirrors look clean?
  • Are window coverings open?

Outside the home

  • Are all exterior surfaces, including decks, pools, walkways and driveways clean, clear of clutter and in good condition?
  • Do fence and other gates open easily?
  • Are the lawns mowed, walkways clear of snow, leaves removed, trees pruned, gardens weeded, hedges trimmed?


The above article is brought to you by Joey Khan and the source of information is by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). Please feel free to contact me.