The Ultimate Open House Checklist: Master Bedroom Edition

By on June 26, 2015

You know what they say about the master bedroom: “This is where the magic happens.” It’s certainly a top priority for buyers—after all, this is where they’d spend a solid eight hours of their day. So, for your open house, make sure your master bedroom is a peaceful place that makes buyers wish they could snuggle up and take a nap right away.

Here’s our checklist of everything you need to do to get your master bedroom open-house-ready.

Make the bed. You’d be surprised how many homeowners leave without making the bed. This is not your real estate agent’s job. (Unless you’re 13 years old and you hired your mom as your agent, but even then, come on!) Your bed should be made for every open house and every showing.

Make the bed beautiful. Now’s the time to match your sheets, pillows, blankets, and duvet. Think Pottery Barn or West Elm. And fluff those pillows!

Create a seating vignette. If you have the space, try staging a plush chair with a small side table and reading lamp. It will allow buyers to picture themselves there, taking a much-needed timeout.

Paint a neutral color. Your real estate agent will always urge you to paint your whole house a neutral color—and this tip is more important in the master bedroom than anywhere else. Add pillows, throws, and rugs for pops of color.

Spin it to win it. A slowly rotating ceiling fan helps create a relaxing mood—but make sure to clean the blades first.

Breathe deeply. The only scent in the air should be that of a clean, fresh room. We’re not big on air fresheners, but a simple diffuser can add a subtle fragrance. A potted orchid can also add a sophisticated touch.

Light it up. Yes, you sleep in the dark, but don’t greet buyers with a dull, dim space. That single overhead light is not enough. Put a lamp in the corner and a couple next to the bed.

We said: Light it up! It’s great if you’ve got serious drapes, but please open the blackout shades before leaving the house. Buyers love natural light.

Stage the bedside tables. Ditch the unread US Weekly and tangled iPhone cables, and replace them with a simple clock, a decorative vase, and a book or two. Reading “The Liar“? Set it next to the bed. It might be that one thing that helps you connect with your buyer.

Sweep/mop/vacuum/dust. Basically, clean the bedroom from top to bottom.

Do the laundry. An overflowing hamper is unacceptable, as are (do we really need to even mention this?) dirty socks lying on the floor. Seriously: Do the laundry!

Pimp your closet. Spacious, organized closets sell homes. Make a budget to add shelving, hanging racks, and drawers—they will pay off. And if your closet is overflowing with clothes, it’s time to purge curate. Donate unused garments, consign a few items with TheRealReal, put out-of-season clothes in storage, or even start packing for your move.

Show your bedroom who the master is. Furniture crowds a room and makes it look smaller—and buyers want large master suites. Pick out the biggest and least necessary pieces and put them in storage.

Be art smart. Decorative art helps make a room memorable. Find something that connotes relaxation, and hang it either above the headboard (if there’s space) or on a wall opposite the door to make a statement. (Note: Personal photos don’t count—tuck them away.)

Use an area rug. In rooms with hardwood floors, a large area rug adds another texture, gives visual interest, and creates a sense of warmth. Decorator’s note: The rug should flow from beneath the bed, not as an island in the middle of the room.

Hide jewelry. If you’ve been following this Open House series, you know we’re keen on safety. While your daily routine may include removing your watch and resting it on the dresser, remember, strangers will be walking through your home, sometimes unattended. Stash jewelry in a safe or take it with you when you leave for the open house.


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