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Preparing for an open home

Preparing for your open home

Are you selling your home in the next few months? Then you probably want to achieve the best price and to sell without having inspections and open homes for months on end.

There are always small things you have thought about fixing or updating in your home. Small changes can make a big difference to the selling price when a buyer feels they’re purchasing a beautiful home, rather than a ‘fixer upper’. 


Your home is competing against other properties in the area, and like any product, buyers are looking to find the house which offers the best value for money. Achieving a good price in a reasonable time is about saleability. You don’t want to make changes if you aren’t going to get a return on that spend. Your asking price must reflect market conditions, and your property must be presented as a saleable item.

What can you do to make the property look great without spending unnecessary money?

Ten tips to get started


Unsurprisingly, most owners recognise the need to de-clutter. This can be helpful come moving day with less to pack and organise. Purchase some packing boxes and store as much of the kids’ toys, tools, clothes and other items that you can live without for a couple of months before potential buyers come to inspect your home. Store the boxes neatly in your garage or hire a small storage facility for the duration of the sale.

An alternative to packing is to look online, where you could make a few dollars selling some of your unwanted household items.

De-personalise your home

This can be hard for some, but it’s essential that buyers don’t see your home. They need to see a house that they can make their own. Pack away family photos, souvenirs or sports memorabilia, remove names on rooms or doors. Present a blank canvas for the buyers to imagine a home for their own family.

Lighten up rooms

Dark furniture, dark carpets and strong coloured walls can make a room seem smaller. Where practicable and affordable, remove or replace these items with something lighter and brighter. A light rug on a dark floor can be a cost-effective but straightforward change.

Check your light bulbs.

Ensure all lights are working. If needed, replace them with bright LED globes. LED globes last longer and are more energy-efficient, but savvy buyers will also notice features like this. Just having the lights on during an inspection lets people know the electricity is working.

Fix basic maintenance issues

Don’t neglect small or tricky maintenance jobs. These can become deal-breakers when building and pest inspections are done. Things to look for; loose door handles, broken door or window locks, faulty exterior gates or blocked drains. You may find that they are easy to solve and inexpensive.

Replace worn floors

Fixing the floors will stop the property from looking tired and dated. If you decide to replace your floors, your choice in colour or style needs to appeal to a broad audience of potential buyers. Research current fashions or go with a neutral colour palette.

If you decide to sell with worn floor coverings or broken tiles, you might find it puts off potential buyers and bidders.

Clean your bathrooms

The whole house should be clean and tidy if you’re preparing for an open inspection, but bathrooms are a hotspot. It can be worth getting cleaners and a handyman in for an even better result. 

Fix dirty shower screens or missing grout and silicon. Fix towel rails, taps and lights as well. The things that need fixing will likely be the ones you don’t notice, but a potential buyer will, be thorough.

Consider getting damaged vanity tops or doors replaced if cost-effective. A simple refurbishment is all that may be needed. 

Building inspections for potential buyers will detect any moisture behind showers, so if you suspect this is a problem, get it checked.

Fix the kitchen

Your kitchen is an important selling feature, and many buyers will see your kitchen as the heart of the home.

If appliances such as the dishwasher, stove and oven are part of the sale, ensure they are all in working order.

Clean and restack a messy pantry with fewer items. It will help make your storage space look bigger. 

There is one thing every home cook and aspiring chef wants, space. Remove non-essential items from benches and cupboards to make the kitchen look as big as possible. A bowl of fruit or flowers can be a nice touch.

Tidy your home’s exterior

First impressions matter, so don’t settle for OK. When inspecting, your home’s exterior will be the first thing potential buyers see, and if you are advertising your home, you will want good photos.

Repair broken roof tiles, clean off mildew, replace or paint over rust and wall cracks that a building inspection will find.

Tidy your garden.

Get the front and back yards in order with clean and sturdy fencing, pruned plants and lawns mowed. Moving your property from looking like a shabby house to a beautiful home can dramatically boost the value.

Have a professional pressure clean your driveway and paths; they can work wonders on oil stains and algae on your driveway.

Park your car around the corner on inspection day so potential buyers get a good look at the driveway.

Preparing your home for sale shouldn’t cost a fortune if done right. Getting the little things fixed will not only speed up the sale and find a buyer, but it can also add value to your home.

Never try to fix any electrical or plumbing work, always hire a professional tradesperson who can do a good quality job.