Preparing Your Home for an Open Inspection

Inspections can be comparable to a first date. First impressions last, and you only have one chance to make a positive and lasting impact. When in the process of selling property an open inspection is one of the best ways to showcase your property and attract buyers, however, it can be intimidating when setting up and knowing how to present in the best way possible and create a reputable brand.

Follow these simple steps to set your property up for inspection success.

Cleaning Up

This may be pretty obvious, but when you do general cleaning, you’d be surprised. Make sure your entire property, including the garden and outside area – is neat and tidy by the time buyers arrive.

Vacuum, wash, dust, scrub, and buff – these are annoying tasks but make them earn their keep. Don’t forget to clean inside wardrobes, cupboards, and ovens in case potential buyers decide to snoop around.

Take shoes out of the entrance as well as any hazards that can make people trip over. You’ll need to make sure the entire property is clean, so you’ll need to do general cleaning first then keep the house in order while it is on the market. By doing this, you’ll only need to quickly clean the place instead of doing a top to bottom makeover.

Those trash bins need to be emptied, and the mailbox must be cleared out. If the trash bins are what people will see as soon as they arrive, then they need to be placed out of sight. If you need a hand, enlist a professional declutterer or organiser. Another option is asking a friend to help you out. Try getting a second opinion and find someone who can objectively review.

Before the inspection, air out your home thoroughly so it can smell fresh and look clean. If prospective buyers feel stuffy, they will go straight back out. Crack open a window or two when it is time for the inspection if the weather permits since this will allow the air to keep flowing through. Bring in as much light as possible by drawing back the blinds and curtains, showing off your house from the street.

Camouflage Your Pets

Potential buyers commonly complain about the tell-tale signs that you are sharing the house with a pet. Stains and smells caused by a pet can actively be a turn off on your property. Remove the whiff of the little creatures by deodorising the entire home, or you can opt to have someone who doesn’t live there confirm the place is clear of their smell. Stow toys and feeding bowls. There should be no traces of hair strands on furniture and floors. If there are droppings in the yard, clean them as soon as possible. Remove any litter boxes and if possible, have someone adopt your pets on days when inspections are scheduled.

Personal Touches

Your home will feel less artificial or stagey once a personal touch is added here and there. It can also spark an emotional connection with the potential buyer. Round up some photos that show off your house and play them on a digital tablet or have some personal photos displayed on museum plinths that you can hire. Also, some beautiful artwork and prints will help brighten up the home. Using convenient art services you can get artwork delivered to your home and appointed short term.

Another way to add personality is having fresh flowers or a small dish with sweets in them placed near the door so people can grab some on their way in or out. Remember it is about keeping humanity in the home. Understanding the buyer persona of potential customers is a great way to prepare your home. If the house is family oriented, then family friendly items will be suitable.

Some people make a big deal over what they see, but they tend to forget that other senses play a part and can either make or break an open inspection. Get rid of anything that gives out an unpleasant odour, like stinky shoes and dirty laundry. Also watch out for smelly food which may not be appreciated by everyone, like fish or durian.

Strike the Right Temperature

Make sure the temperature inside your house is perfect when would-be buyers walk in. Be mindful of the weather outside and adjust the temperature.

Ensuring the temperature indoors is perfect demonstrates that your house can effortlessly cope with the climate outside. Depending on what is most welcome at the time of the visit, you should aim to give visitors a cold or warm blast. If ever it is impossible to fix a malfunctioning thermostat by the time of inspection, place portable heaters or fans strategically, so they don’t get in the way but still does the job.

Safety First

Whether you are present during the inspection or not, be wary of visitors who could be light-fingered. Remove anything valuable before your house is opened up to strangers. If you have CCTV cameras installed in your home, double check if they are working. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Check with your insurance company about the coverage for an open inspection and ask if there is anything you need to do to stay protected.

Take any essential things with you if you’re leaving the area on the scheduled inspection or keep them in a safe or secure drawer or cupboard. If you don’t have anything you can lock, somewhere out of sight and mind like a wardrobe will suffice. Agents keep track of people who visit your property to dissuade thieves and provide some liability if anything is damaged or missing. Nevertheless, you should not rely on the agents, and this is not a perfect system.

Only allow people inside your house at the agreed inspection time to certify that the property is safe. It is better to cancel the appointment than invite disaster.

Paperwork Should Be Ready

During a walkthrough, it is rare for buyers to begin the negotiating stage. However, it pays to be ready and has all the information the visitor might want.

If there is any relevant paperwork, such as pest documentation, renovation history, and approvals for further development, work with your agent. You’ll ever know, you could end up with some serious buyers who would like to check any documents. Buyers are more at ease when they feel right about the place they’ve visited. They will ask fewer questions and spend a lot of time imagining themselves in the home. In case a serious buyer is in a rush to purchase a property, or you are taking on DIY property sales then you will have everything you need to proceed to the next step which is the discussion.

Make Yourself Scarce

Permit potential buyers to roam around your halls relaxed and unencumbered. You don’t need to follow them around everywhere they go. When there is a planned inspection, coordinate with your agent and opt to head out of the house until after the inspection. Bring the rest of the family members with you including pets. Have a schedule of the inspection times to take with you.

If you want to stay in the area, find a comfortable place to stay in the house or yard which can be some retreat for you while the prospective buyers look around. This will allow you to be around for a chat if ever they want to ask you about the area or your home. Just keep in mind to give them some space so they can browse in peace.

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