When I walk into an open house in Los Angeles, I want that "Welcome Home" feeling. Over the years of living in Los Angeles, I've been to many open houses and love nearly every one. Each home says so much about a person's life, the team who built it, or perhaps the company that's "staging" the home for the sale. While I don't believe there are any hard and fast rules, I have learned through the years that people notice everything when coming and going. There's nothing worse than your mother coming over for a visit, asking how you've been, and before she sits down she's running her finger over your mantle checking for dust. Home buyers do the same thing. Over time, I've captured lots of great tips and these are some of the ones I've stored and echo.
- Your nose was your first sense, believe it or not. You remember what it was like to visit your Grandmother's house (or a friend's house) and you walk in and there's the sweet smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven. DELICIOUS. Roja Dove, one of the worlds most famous noses, told me years ago that before you were fed, before you saw, you could smell. It was our first sense and Roja believes it's our strongest. So if you're expecting company, light some candles, bake cookies, open the windows and doors to allow some fresh air in. WOW your guests by enticing their strongest sense; their noses.
- Lighting is very important. If you have decorative art, be sure the lighting is set to stage the home for its most appealing views. Light the fireplace, open the curtains, and be sure you set the stage.
- Set the mood. Turn your phones off during an open house. Set some great music from Billie Holiday or Mel Torme for a relaxing feel for your open house.
- Check the corners and crevices. Don't forget the dust on the ceiling fan and window ledges.
- Let your home make a statement. A throw over the back of a chair or magazines placed near the sofa can set the stage for ease and comfort.
- Organize your "excess" prior to an open house. We all have bills, and we all have laundry, and we all have paperwork. Sort all of these things away prior to an open house or agent meeting so that your prized possession looks its very best.
- SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY. Monitor your power cords or anything else in the walkways or hallways. Unplug unnecessary gadgets. Put your dishes away. If you have high gloss floors be sure your guests are aware
- Whatever else you think makes sense. If you have to ask "should I do this" then chances are you should.
- MAKE THE BED. This one just goes without saying. You can't believe how many open houses I've been in, and the bed isn't made. Even worse, the mattresses are bare and aren't even covered. The bedroom needs to be inviting. Simply put, it will have a better look and feel if the bed is made.
- Take a step outside your home. Walk out to the street and have a look at your home. This is what your potential buyer is going to see FIRST. What do you think? Do you like what you see? What do you notice?
Billy Lowe - Welcome Home!
Real Estate Sales Los Angeles and Beverly Hills
Follow me on Twitter: @billylowe
Billy Lowe is a real estate agent in Los Angeles with a 20 year career history in sales & marketing for consumer products (health and beauty). His passion for real estate stems from his roots and life in Savannah, home to some of the finest properties in the world. We look forward to working with you soon.