Inexpensive Open House Prep Ideas That Are Sure to Boost Your Offers

Two things can be true, simultaneously. It can be true that you really want to sell your home and will do whatever it takes to elicit a higher volume of legitimate offers, and at the same time be true that you don’t want to sink thousands more dollars into a property you’re about to vacate. An open house is your home’s time to shine, and it’s worth taking the time to prep for. Here’s how you can do it effectively, but also inexpensively. 

Power wash your exterior surfaces

One fast way to make your home look decades younger and vastly improve your curb appeal is to take a pressure washer to the exterior. For no more than $60 a day, you can rent a pressure washer and remove years of dirt and grime from your siding, patio, brick walkways, and fences. Check out this primer on pressure washing before you get started. 

Bright is right

Did you know that a well-lit room looks more spacious? Not only that, but it’s just basic human psychology that we are turned off by dark, dingy spaces. You should do everything you can to make your home shine. For rooms full of windows, the solution is simple: open the curtains or replace dark, heavy ones with light, sheer ones. Natural light is always best. But if a room lacks ample natural light, spend $50 or so on a nice lamp. If you want to spend just a little more, new light fixtures can really make a great impression


Starting to think about selling your home?

Clean… really clean

All that natural light will be for naught if it reveals dirt, dust, and grime all throughout your home. You could spend a few days trying to clean your home, but the truth is most of us don’t have the time or persistence to truly deep clean the way a home needs to be deep cleaned before a showing. According to HomeAdvisor, the average price for a maid-service house cleaning in Santa Cruz, CA, ranges from $120 to $235, so saying it’s worth it is an understatement.

Turn up the cozy factor

Though you want your home to be depersonalized during the open house (no excess family photos, kids drawings, religious imagery, etc.), you don’t want it to feel sterile. Some cheap ways to make your home feel cozy include placing fresh-cut flowers around the house, making snacks, and putting fresh fruit in a bowl in the kitchen. HouseLogic suggests baking cookies in disposable aluminum baking sheets for a cheap, easy-to-clean solution. The smell of freshly baked treats never hurt anything. 

Upgrade your towels and linens

For a couple hundred dollars total, you can upgrade all of the towels and linens in your home. This sort of attention to detail will not go unnoticed by potential buyers. A fresh blanket on a bed or some new, plush white towels in the bathroom can go a long way. 

Paint whatever you can

A gallon of basic paint won’t cost you more than $40 or so and could make all the difference in whether your home gets the offers it deserves following your open house. Start with a fresh coat on the front door and then touch up dinged-up spots all over your home. The only time you really need to repaint an entire room is when that room could turn off potential buyers with its over-the-top coloring. You may love that neon blue room, but most buyers simply want to see their possible home painted in neutral colors. 

You don’t have to go broke staging your home for sale. Hosting an open house is how you show your home in its best possible light, so spending a few hundred dollars putting makeup on an already-beautiful property can make the difference in the quality and quantity of offers. 

Article provided by Medina at


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The Kroft & Hulsey team has over 53 years of combined experience as full-time realtors. We have closed 21 sales in 2018 so far and 45 in 2017. After Mulhern Realty Group merged with our team at the beginning of 2018, we now hold two of the top 10 spots on Yelp for best realtors in Santa Cruz.

Lance was Keller Williams’ Productivity Coach in 2017 where he was responsible for training new and existing agents in an office of over 115 agents. Our designations include Pricing Strategy Advisor, Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource, Accredited Buyers Representative, Green Designation. Over the years we have also been a resource (interviewed and quoted) for the Santa Cruz Sentinel and KION for real estate