How to make a long lasting impression at an Open House

Host The Open House that leaves a Lasting Impression

The pressure is on and it’s finally time to sell your home. Getting your home ready for an open house is though because you want potential home buyers  to  envision themselves in your home, rather than feeling like they are intruding on your turf.

There’s a lot you can do to your home to make it more inviting. From cleaning and home improvements, to candles and soft fabric touches. The changes that are going to matter most are the updates that your potential buyer won’t want to deal with. Which is why you need my complete rundown of the most effective ways to stage a home for an Open House that will make a long lasting impression on potential home buyers.

Let’s get started.

Prepare the Outside of your Home: Declutter It.

Long lasting impression for an open house

Don’t tell me that you haven’t walked down impressive driveway, detailed with colorful foliage and haven’t been blown away. You could probably think of that drive way now…

Outdoor spaces are impressive. That also means that the outdoor area is one of the most important spaces to not neglect. Often times, a yard looks disorganized because it’s cluttered with sticks, l. Toys, dog holes, even broken chairs and leaves are all things that make a yard look out of order. Before you touch anything on the inside your home, you need to step outside and tend to the exterior of your home.

What to Remove from your Outdoor Space

How to make a long lasting impression for an open house

Minimize outdoor decorations to one or two items max (i.e. a flag)
Broken bricks or concrete
Broken or unattractive outdoor furniture
Dead plants
Spider webs or traces of bugs
Children’s toys
Large sticks
Lawn equipment
Overgrown grass
Rake leaves
Remove dead bushes
Freshen up soil in a garden areas, even if not used
Cover up holes dug from dogs

Here are some enhancements for the outside of your home:

Long lasting imprression for an open house

Use ‘house wash’ to clean the dirt off the exterior of your home.
Clean rain gutters, outside windows, screens, etc.
Power wash the front exterior
Re-paint the front door, if necessary.
Plant new flowers along your porch or in pots to make it seem fresh and lively
If you have a porch, have some nice chairs with a table and maybe even a lit candle.
Don’t park your car in the driveway, give your house the full view
Clean and replace broken or out-dated outdoor lighting fixtures.
Keep the lawn looking healthy. (Check out my handy lawn care guide here)
Clear and visible house numbers and not dated.
Buy a new welcome mat

Prep the Inside of your Home: Depersonalize It

how to make a long lasting impression for an open house

Ask yourself this, Why is it so satisfying to walk into most retail stores, like Anthropologie?  It’s because we’re attracted to  modern and new places, that smell good and look cool. Take that same mindset of how you feel in those spaces and apply it to your house. You don’t have to remove all of the personality, just need to make it feel like a welcoming space for all to browse and enjoy.

Cool Idea: If you’re going to keep some personal photos on the walls, try hanging them in a cluster with other pictures, so it’s a focal point of wall art, rather being just a photo. 

how to host an open house

Clever Ways to Depersonalize your Home

Long lasting impression for  open house

Stash your photos. This includes photos from your honeymoon, graduation, family reunion, vacation, etc.

Take down all of the drawings, photos, magnets from your fridge.



Put away anything related to your pets, even photos.

Remove large collections of anything, as collections is a very personal hobby. If you keep anything out for display, remember to use the Rule of Three.

While plants are good component to adding life to your house, too many can be intimidating and cover up the size of the space. If this is the cage, ask close friends to watch your plants until you sell your home.

Remove any items from the washing machine and dryers. People will open them.

Wipe handles and areas with finger marks, fridge, dishwasher, silver appliances, mirrors, windows, door handles.

How to Make the Impression Last

How to make a long lasting Impression

You’ve cleaned up, fixed the broken things around your home and now it’s time to make the impressiveness of your home last longer than a few minutes. Similar to the retail concept, they also have to make a lasting impression, so that you come back for the item – that just fit perfectly, but was a little too pricey…..until pay day came around.

Leave the house: The best way for someone to visualize that a space is their’s, is to not be there. Keep the lights on and move your cars from the driveway and garage area. Put bikes, scooters, skateboards, away too.

Natural Smells: While a really good SUBTLE smell can do wonders for a person’s emotion towards a space, it can also be disastrous. For instance,  do not spray Febreze all over your house, as that is exactly the smell you leave behind… When using candles, stick with smells that are classic, such as vanilla or natural smells. You want to avoid exotic and man-made scents like ‘coconut fiesta’ that could turn off home buyers.

Keep in mind to not do any do heavy cooking the day of the open house. You might not notice the smell of your pancakes throughout the first floor, but buyers will and it can be distracting.

Provide a take note  for visitors to take along with them as they leave the house. It’s nice to have something to remind visitors of your home. Rather than repeating the information their realtor has already given them, feature the great highlights of the neighborhood, such as restaurants, neighborhood events, parks, notes on your neighbors, etc. Remember the features around the location of the house are just as important as the house itself!

I hope that you made it down here and realized that hosting a open house isn’t a magical mystery, but rather offering a clean and inviting space. That’s it…I promise. Have any other open house notes, then feel free to share in our comments section.

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