How to Prepare for a Successful “Open House"

As home owners we want to ensure that we prepare the best we can for a successful open house. We turn to Dee McFadden of Weichert Realtors for her expertise on How to Prepare for a “Successful Open House”. 

Preparing Your Home for a “Open House”

When preparing for a successful open house clean as if your  in-laws were coming over for the first time. For home owners who have pets plan ahead.

The safety and well being of your dog, you will need to take them out of the home. Arrange for a dog sitter to take the dog for a few hours. Leaving them in the yard is not an option, since they will continually bark when people enter and leave the house.

There are local daycare centers where they can be dropped off to play. If you live in a colder climate, then be sure to put your house on the market in the Spring. The mild temperatures are very inviting for you and your dog to be outside for a few hours. Take your dog to a dog park or go to visit a relative. Saturday’s are ideal for an open house for pet owners. Since Saturday is a day of errands or the kids sporting events.

Keep Your Pets Safe During Your “Open House”

Take your dogs with you. This way you can take care of your personal life while people are touring your home. Sunday allows you to have a family day.Bring their favorite toy or a Kong filled with peanut butter to keep them entertained.If the pets are not friendly keep them in a kennel during showings, and open houses. You don’t want to have an accident and be liable.

At the time of listing your home, you should give your realtor clear instructions and have a game plan for your pets. Ask for a 1 hour notice for showing times so that you or a neighbor can remove the dog. If this is not possible, advise that pets will be kept in garage or basement. You can always ask for showings in the evening and weekends. Just keep in mind that you can miss potential buyers who need to view homes during the day. Provide your realtor with your pets names as often animals called by name respond better to strangers entering the house. For showings you can leave animals crated in day, but for open houses you need to remove them.

Check List of  things to do prior to your Open House

  • Throw out garbage and recyclables

  • Do not leave dishes in sink

  • Place vanilla scented air fresheners in kitchen, bathrooms, den

  • Move recyclables into garage or yard

  • Bathrooms & kitchen should be sparkly clean

  • Vacuum, shampoo carpets if you have pets

  • Walk outdoor perimeter checking for debris and trash

  • Set the dining room table as if it was a holiday

  • Make all beds

  • Clear all clutter from floors

  • Open blinds/Turn lights on in rooms

  • Clear kitchen counters of unnecessary items so counter space appears larger

  • Place toys in toy bin

  • Closets should be uncluttered

  • Clean litter box and place air freshener nearby

  • Clean poop from yard

  • Remove excess furniture and place in garage or basement

  • Buy a new doormat for front door

  • Plant some flowers outside, trim hedges

  • Remove valuables and place in safe or safe deposit box

  • Make sure your pets are wearing their ID tags

  • Place sign on back of front door/garage/back door regarding pets. Please do not let out our dog or cat out (indicate # of pets)  

Diana (Dee) McFadden
Weichert Realtors
2313 Burlington Mt-Holly Road
Burlington, NJ 08016