The Three C’s of Open House Success

Redfin reports that “Most homes for sale in Charlotte, NC stay on the market for 56 days and receive one offer.” But when you’re ready to move on to your next adventure, you don’t want to wait almost two months to know when you can vacate and relocate.

Keep reading for advice on how to prep for your open house and stage your home to get it sold.

Clean, comfortable, and clutter free. When hosting an open house, this is the description your aiming for. If not, you significantly lower your chances of selling quickly and may even lower your home’s perceived value to potential buyers. It’s not as easy as it sounds, and you may need a helping hand.



Before you begin preparations for your open house, consider bringing in a cleaning service that can look at your home with an objective eye and help you identify issues you may not have considered.

You may believe your home is clean, but strangers will scrutinize every dust bunny and unwashed window. In order to make a positive impression, your home must be as clean as the day it was built. Carpets must be shampooed, tile and grout polished to a shine, and hard surfaces made spotless. Likewise, your home’s furniture and decorative accents shouldn’t look as though they’ve seen better days. Although buyers aren’t going to want your sofa, dirty or damaged furniture can make the home feel neglected.

Your home’s visual appearance is only half of the cleanliness equation. Reader’s Digest notes there are a number of house smells that shouldn’t be ignored. These include pet odors, mustiness, and cigarette smoke. The vast majority of unpleasant odors can be eliminated with a thorough cleaning and a few hours with the windows open. But urine, mold, and smoke permeation may require professional help. Once these odors have been identified and removed, take steps to ensure the source isn’t reintroduced into the home. In other words, don’t smoke in the house, and keep the pets at grandma’s.



Your home’s comfort is important, too. The indoor temperature should be comfortable compared to outside. Usually, a temperature of 68° to 70° is ideal year-round. If you are staging an open house, you should also plan to have a few comfort foods on hand to encourage guests to linger and settle in.

You’ll want to arrange your furniture to allow for easy navigation throughout open spaces. You can also create an inviting conversation space in the living room that may help your buyers envision cozy family evenings by the fireplace. Houzz offers numerous home-staging ideas including tips on how to tone down your personal style to make your home more appealing and possibly sell faster.


Clutter Free

No matter how much cleaning and rearranging you do, if your home is cluttered, the guests at your open house may be distracted. The last thing you want is for their attention to be on your home’s shortcomings. Talk to your real estate agent and plan to spend two or three weekends cleaning and decluttering before the big day. explains that the decluttering process should include removing unnecessary pieces of furniture and personal photos. Make sure to clear the closets and garage along with any outbuildings and additional storage spaces. As much as you’d like to believe these areas are private, when you have a dozen people hoping to move into your house, no stone will be left unturned.

Your home’s interior is not the only area that needs attention. Your exterior, including the lawn and patio areas, should be clean, comfortable, and clutter free, too. If you have pets or kids, clean up any excess toys and fix outdoor damage. Take a few minutes to clean the grill and patio furniture, too.

While no one can guarantee a quick turnaround, most experts agree hosting an open house soon after your home goes on the market is one of the best ways for your property to gain exposure. But in order for it to be a success, you must properly stage your home.


Suzie Wilson
Interior Designer, Author, Creator of