Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living
Recent Home Living Property Culture The Team North Shore Living
The moment your potential buyers first walk into your open home is critical to your sale. That first visual impression. The way your home smells. The quality of the light. These all need to create a strong feeling in the buyer that this could be their home, and they could be happy here.

If you can start to view your home as a product, and see it through your buyers’ eyes, you are well on your way to letting go and moving on.

So let’s look at some of the key factors in creating a wonderful first impression and, importantly, some common mistakes to avoid when presenting your home to the market.

Going overboard with strong smells

A common mistake is to go overboard with scent when staging your home. This might include chemical room sprays, scented candles, coffee beans, diffusers, incense and highly scented flowers. All of these should be avoided because some people (for example, pregnant women) are highly sensitive to smells and others dislike artificial fragrance in general. Another thing to avoid is a strong smell of fresh paint. While painting your home is a great way to add value, be sure to leave some time between painting and your home inspections so the smell will dissipate.

If your house is spotlessly clean and well-ventilated with no underlying damp problems, it should not have any strong smells. Always air it out well on the morning of your open home, get someone who doesn’t live there to do a ‘smell check’, and don’t be tempted to overpower your viewers with strong fragrances.

Not boosting your light

Buyers will be drawn to a home that is bright and light-filled. Make the most of any natural light with clean windows and open curtains or blinds. If you have rooms that tend to be a bit dark, turn on the lights before buyers arrive, add a lamp or two if necessary, and hang mirrors to reflect light from windows.

Giving your viewers hayfever

While fresh flowers can look beautiful, bear in mind that some varieties can trigger hayfever or an allergic reaction in susceptible people. Choose flowers that don’t have a lot of obvious pollen, or paint pollen with a weak solution of sugar and water to stabilise it. Orchids, roses, daffodils, peonies and tulips are all pretty, low-allergenic choices.

Leaving evidence of your furry friends

While you might love your pets, potential buyers can be put off by pet smells, pet hair and beds, and kitty litter trays. For open homes, remove your pets and all evidence of them.

Having personal effects on display

When you’re styling your home, your agent or stylist may advise you to include an impressive piece of art, and if it’s fairly neutral this can work well to make your home look ‘pulled together.’ However, be selective about what you choose, as some pieces might offend buyers. Think tasteful botanical prints rather than nude photography.
An essential thing to remember is that to fall in love with your house, potential buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living there. So declutter ruthlessly, and remove all personal items such as photographs, children’s drawings, toothbrushes and bedside reading before open homes.

Not clearing the clutter

Ensure kitchen benches and bathrooms are free from clutter to create an impression of space. And clear out cupboards and wardrobes as much as you can for the same reason – you don’t want buyers to see bulging overstuffed cupboards, as this creates the impression of limited storage. Hire a storage space for the duration of your sale if you need to, and start decluttering for your move well in advance of going to market. You’ll be glad you did if your home sells quickly.

Need help with a North Shore property sale?

McConnell Bourn, an independent agency working across four offices, has proudly represented clients selling and managing homes across Sydney's North Shore for the past 20 years.

Find out more about what we can do for you by calling 02 9496 2777 or emailing

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