Your open house is your home’s introduction to buyers, and first impressions are usually the ones that stick. Consider these ways to make the most of this all-important event.

Timing Is Everything

Typically your agent will hold your open house on weekends, when buyers are most likely to have time away from their jobs and a more flexible schedule. On average the event is two or three hours, usually between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To increase your chances of attracting decent foot traffic avoid having your open house during big community events, and on holidays.

Staging to Sell

Pro stagers strategically furnish your home in a way that helps buyers visualize the life they can have in your residence. But if you don’t have money for a stager, don’t worry. There’s lots you can do on your own:

Reduce clutter: if your home is hiding beneath clutter all that buyers will see is your life, and not the one they can create in your home. So clear away clutter on countertops and in closets and drawers, and keep tchotchkes to a bare minimum.

Indoor facelift: freshen-up your walls with some new paint. Neutrals are ideal, since they aren’t overpowering, or overly specific.

Arrange your spaces: give buyers an idea of how spaces in your home can be used. Turn a spare bedroom into an office. Showcase a breakfast bar with place settings. Create a reading nook from a window seat.

Lighting the Way

Light makes spaces look larger. On the day of your open house make sure all of the curtains and blinds are open to allow natural light.

Highlighting Your Home’s Features

Draw visitors’ attention to features in your home that you want to showcase by posting thoughtful signs around the house. Something like: “Check out the gas fireplace. Push this button.” Or maybe: “Look down at the new hardwood floors.” Use friendly wording. And it doesn’t hurt to make the signs visually appealing.

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