Get It Sold: Do’s and Don’ts for Staging an Open House

Selling your house on your own without a realtor near Denver

A growing number of homeowners are choosing to sell their houses without the help of a real estate agent. While it’s a good way to save money, you sacrifice the expertise and experience of a professional who knows the ins and outs of preparing a home for sale. That expertise comes in very handy when it comes time to show your home to prospective buyers. The open house is a centerpiece of your marketing effort, however you choose to go about it. While there’s a wide range of opinion on the best way to show buyers your home, real estate agents and other industry professionals generally emphasize a core list of do’s and don’ts based on the preferences and decisions made by home buyers. 

Open houses may be more important today than they ever have been. Home buyers today can find homes for sale near them with a simple phone app. That means you need to be especially diligent about promoting the best aspects of your home, to make it look as appealing as others on the market and in your area. The more people you can attract to your home, the better your chances of finding a buyer. Once you’ve pulled them in, make sure it’s carefully staged so you can seal the deal.

Curb appeal

Curb appeal is a constant in the real estate industry. Your home’s exterior, its yard, and the general impression it gives off are key. If a prospective buyer drives by and sees peeling paint, overgrown and ragged bushes, and a weed-dominated lawn, it’s very likely that you’ll never get a chance to show off any improvements you’ve made inside. Try to see your house as a passerby would see it. Are there cracks in the driveway or walkway that need to be filled? Does your front door look appealing and work with your decor? Is your mailbox in good shape, or is it leaning over to one side? Does the yard look well cared for and healthy? 


Creating curb appeal is all about making a good first impression and the old saying that you never get a second chance to make a good one. If you don’t, someone who might fall in love with your interior may just keep driving by if you’ve neglected things outside. Make sure your house numbers are in good order and can be easily seen. If you’re having an open house, make sure your cars are out of the driveway and not on the street blocking the view of the house. 

Clean and decluttered


It goes without saying that you need to keep your home clean throughout the selling process. Your windows and carpeting should be looking good (consider having professional services clean them before your first open house). However, some people forget that it’s also important to keep their home looking decluttered. All those loose objects and papers that accumulate over time must be cleared away and thrown out or stored out of sight. Remember, clutter makes your home look disorganized and dirty. Don’t forget that clutter includes furniture. You don’t want too much furniture making it difficult to walk around easily, detracting from the important sense of flow that buyers look for these days. 

Depersonalize it

People come to your home not to look at family photos and meet your pets, but to imagine how they might make the place their own, to visualize it as theirs. That’s hard to do if you load it down with too much visual stimuli. Make sure there’s no evidence of pets, which should be boarded or left with a friend during your open house. Any pet-related damage (such as scratched wood, urine stains, or accumulated balls of hair) should be cleaned or repaired. 

Remember that you’re not trying to win an award from House Beautiful. You do want to make your house look immaculate without loading it down with too much furniture and too many knickknacks. Keep it clean and neutral in terms of color and decor. 

Guest Post by Suzie Wilson

Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.

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