The open house is this Saturday. Your clients want to maximize their home’s value, but there’s no time for any major renovations. What do you tell them?

Thankfully, you don’t have to change the house’s brick and mortar—you just have to change how buyers perceive the house. You can change perceptions with a few low-cost home improvements, too. Make your open house a success with these five open house tips for sellers (no contractors or renovations necessary).

Make a good first impression.

On open-house day, curb appeal is everything. An impressive lawn gets buyers excited to see the inside. Thankfully, these changes don’t have to be expensive, and they bring big payoffs. According to RISMedia, a curb appeal face-lift can drive up a home’s price by 1 to 2%, even if the update costs less than $5,000.

All it takes is a day of yardwork. Here are a few landscaping tweaks to make before the big day:

  • Keep the lawn freshly mown (but clean up the grass clippings).
  • Trim edges along the driveway and curb.
  • Pull out pesky weeds from the driveway cracks, the lawn, and the gardens.
  • Add a few eye-popping, colorful plants.
  • Lay fresh mulch.

The front door sends a big message, too. A fresh coat of paint is a big plus (HGTV recommends navy blue). Clean the glass on storm doors, and make sure the hinges open and close smoothly.

Shed some light on the situation.

Lighting can make or break your open house. Well-lit homes seem bright and inviting, but dimmer spaces are dull and dreary.

Our next open house tip? Maximize the home’s natural lighting with open curtains and clean windows. And swap out yellowish bulbs for whiter, energy-efficient bulbs. Energy-savvy buyers prefer them, and brighter lighting sends fresher tones throughout the home.

Check the fixtures, too. Vintage-style lighting is in, but it’s not for everyone. Classic, updated light fixtures are a safer bet.

One last note: don’t forget the outdoor lights. The front porch, garage, and streetlights should all be bright and clean. If there are any dead bugs trapped in the glass, get them out.

Give the walls a fresh coat of paint.

Did you know? Just the color of the bathroom can drive up a home’s price. In fact, Zillow says that homes with blue bathrooms sell for more than $5,000 more than expected.

Fresh paint is another low-cost home improvement any seller can make. New paint makes your walls clean and bright, but it’s best to stick to classic colors that appeal to a wide audience. HGTV recommends shades of blue, greige, beige, or warm tans.

Super time-crunched? Skip the paint and run a scuff-check: get rid of any skid marks on the walls by cleaning them. Clean walls look newer than they really are.

Touch-up the bathroom.

A full-scale bathroom renovation may be tempting, but it gets expensive. Luckily, there are a few low-cost improvements you can make without calling a plumber. For one thing, you can easily replace that leaky faucet or shower head. The same goes for old drawer pulls and towel rods; if they’re old or tacky, swap them. The only tool you need is a screwdriver.

Check the bathtub caulk, too. Is it moldy? Cracked? No longer white? If so, replace it. No one wants to buy someone else’s mold, and re-caulking can take years off the tub’s perceived age.

Reduce personalization. 

Stevie’s Little League photo hangs on the wall in the entryway. It’s cute, but it isn’t open house material. Instead, replace that personal photo with generic art pieces or wall hangings.

Here’s why: you want buyers to imagine themselves living in the house. Run-of-the-mill art makes that easy. Stevie’s face doesn’t.

This open house tip is simple, but you don’t want to overlook it. Granted, you can’t cut out wall hangings entirely—you want the house to look lived in—but put the family photos away.


These low-cost home improvements may be surprisingly simple. But by following these open house tips, you can make your event a success.