In a competitive market, it’s more important than ever to make sure everything is perfect for your open for inspection. Potential buyers will be scrutinising every detail, pouncing on any shortcomings, and judging you heavily on first impressions.
Your renovations have undoubtedly added great value to the property, but these may not be what visitors notice first if something else captures their attention. For example, say you’ve added beautiful French doors that open onto the backyard, but the glass is dirty or smudged. Guess what? That’s what the visitors’ attention will focus on.
You have a gorgeous new kitchen flaunting all the latest appliances and finishes, but all your visitors notice is the lingering smell of fatty sausages. Is the bathroom clean? Have the bedrooms been aired? Are the driveway and pool free of leaves? When people see leaves, they look up and imagine lots of work each weekend, instead of thinking of shade and relaxation.
Ask friends to come around and give you honest feedback on the appearance and feel of your property.
Often it’s good to get objective feedback on the presentation of your property. Start with your agent, but also ask friends to come around and give you honest feedback on the appearance and feel of your property. Remember to be open to constructive criticism; after all, you’re looking to please others, appealing to the majority, not yourself.
Here are some tips to help you make sure you’re fully prepared for your open for inspection.
1) look for any negatives
Stand at the entry door to each room, and then simply look around, just as any new visitor would, taking in the general impression of how the room looks and feels (brightness, styling, odours, etc). Consider what could be altered, repositioned or removed. By searching for and solving any negatives, you’ll be sure to present your property at its very best… every time, with a stress-free process you simply repeat for each inspection.
2) TAKE PHOTOS
When you’re finally happy with the styling, take some photos: the kitchen bench, bookshelves, coffee table, the cushions on the sofa…. These styling photos will be your reminder as to how your space should be set up, if it gets messed up. This will make it quick to duplicate the look any time your home is open for inspection.
3) MAKE TWO CHECKLISTS
- One is your checklist for the lead-up to inspection day: things like cleaning the windows, watering the plants, sweeping the leaves, checking for cobwebs, etc.
- The second is for inspection day itself: store away toiletries, clear kitchen benches, make the beds, put fresh towels in the bathroom, empty the rubbish bin, remove the cat litter tray and dog food bowls, etc.
It’s also good to share the list with other family members, asking everyone to pitch in. These will be your must-do lists and no tick box should be left unchecked when it comes to inspection time.
If you think all of that sounds too simple, I can assure you that I see many of the problems I’ve mentioned appear over and over again when I inspect properties. So, as basic as it sounds, the reality is that people miss out on potential by not remembering the importance of first impressions.
If you’re interested in learning more about presenting your property at its best, read about our Interior Design For Profit course.
Treble trio of tips
Judge every room from its entry door and make sure those first impressions sizzle.
Take photos of each room you’ve styled and simply replicate the look on open days,
Write To-Do checklists and go through it THOROUGHLY before you open the doors to your property.