In order to sell a piece of real estate, you have to give potential buyers the chance to view it personally. An open house is an event during which multiple interested parties can stop by and get information about the property while touring it. According to Forbes, it’s one of the most important steps you can take to successfully sell your home. It reduces marketing costs overall, for instance, and allows you to advertise “extras” like the nearby schools in casual conversation. For your open house to be a success, however, you have to prepare your home appropriately. Here’s how to do it right.

Remove personal possessions

Stray papers, shoes, knickknacks from your travels, kids’ artwork on the fridge—the things lying around your living space are what makes it uniquely yours. While it’s part of what makes your house feel like a home, these personal possessions can deter visitors’ attention from the actual architectural value of the property. Intimate touches like your family photos will also interfere with another person’s attempts to envision the property as their own potential new dream home. What’s more, clutter can cause people to feel anxious when you want them to be comfortable while they visit.

Rent a storage facility

Don’t just stash personal possessions in closets or the garage. Buyers will also want to view these areas because they are prime storage spots. Instead rent a storage facility; you can also place valuables like artwork here, keeping them safe from the many people milling about your open house. When looking for a self-storage facility, shop around for the best deals because monthly fees can add up quickly. CubeSmart Self Storage in Henderson, for example, is offering 25 percent off on their larger units.

 Give the place a deep clean

Once you’ve cleared out the clutter, you can give your interior a thorough cleaning. Don’t stop at basic vacuuming and mopping; polish wooden furniture, clean windows, and give rugs and upholstered furniture a deep clean to freshen the entire place up. If you don’t have the time, energy, or tools to do the job yourself, hire a cleaning service. You can use this platform to find one year you.

Add aesthetic touches

You don’t want the interior to look too bare and sterile after it’s been cleared out and cleaned. Place vases of flowers throughout the home. The bouquets will also give the inside a nice smell. Research published in the journal Chemical Senses shows that scent is strongly tied to emotion; creating a welcoming ambience with lovely aromas will help guests feel at ease during your open house. Research has also shown that people react positively to flowers, which appear to be a natural mood enhancer.

Let in the light

Natural light makes rooms feel larger and more welcoming. Open shutters and blinds, and draw back heavy curtains to let in the sun. Ideally, host your open house when the sun is shining. Adding mirrors to a space also makes it lighter, as rays bounce off the reflective surface and diffuse throughout the room. When taking photos of your home’s interior, make the most of natural sunlight as well. Top-quality pictures have been shown to increase a home’s final sale price (a professional photographer will generally charge $110 – $300 to take pictures of your home).

 Take your time when preparing

 Take the time to incorporate the above tips, and you will have an interior that is perfectly prepared for both photos and an open house. Investing your energy in these small tasks can help your property sell more quickly. This will save you money in the long term, sparing you additional marketing costs. You don’t want to turn off a serious potential buyer because you are unprepared. Give this process the effort it deserves, and you will be doing yourself a favor.