How to prepare your house for an open inspection

Inspections are like a first date. You only get one chance to make that first impression. Set your property up for inspection success with these simple tips.

Clean up

Yes, it’s Captain Obvious, but you’d be surprised. Make sure your whole property is neat and tidy when buyers arrive, including the garden and outside areas. Dust, vacuum, scrub, wash, buff – make all those annoying tasks earn their keep. Don’t forget to clean inside ovens, cupboards and wardrobes, in case potential buyers are particularly curious. Get the big clean out of the way in advance, then keep your place in good condition while your place is on the market. That way, you should only need a refresh to prepare for a new inspection date, rather than a top-to-bottom makeover. Clear out the mailbox and empty your rubbish bins – and, ideally, move the bins out of sight.

Invite light and air

Air out your home thoroughly before the inspection, so it feels as fresh and clean as possible. If potential buyers feel stuffy, they’ll head straight for the door. If the weather and security permits, crack open a window or two during the inspections themselves, too, so that there’s a steady flow of fresh air. Draw back curtains and blinds to bring in as much as light as possible and show off your house from the street.

Help your pets camouflage

One of the most common complaints from potential buyers at open for inspections are those telltale signs you share your home with someone furry. If they’re not your pets, animal smells or stains can actively turn someone off your property. Deodorise your property to remove the whiff of little creatures and get someone who doesn’t normally live there to confirm you’re clear (you might be used to it and unable to smell what others can). Clean traces of hair from floors and furniture, stow feeding bowls and toys, remove any litter boxes or droppings from the yard, and give your pets a vacation during inspections.

Add a few personal touches

A personal touch here and there helps your home feel less staged, and will often help prospective buyers to forge an emotional connection with your property. Fresh flowers are a nice addition. It’s about striking a balance between presenting a warm, homely environment and allowing enough mental space for a prospective buyer to imagine themselves living in your home – and often this means stowing away personal photographs.

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