So, you’ve decided to take the leap and put your house on the market. Congratulations! This is one of the best seller’s markets in history! Even in this red-hot market, you need a home showing checklist. The 5 steps to show your home like a pro!
Home showing checklist
There are time-honored truths of home selling, and it’s essential you follow them even in a seller’s market. The offers won’t just roll in, even when inventory is low if your house isn’t “show-ready.”
You must ensure your home shows in its best possible light. To do this, you must prepare your home for buyers. Fortunately, one of the most impactful preparations you can make costs very little money.
Call it sweat equity in the form of good old fashion elbow grease! So roll up your sleeves and start tackling this top 5 do list for prepping your home for showings:
Get your home Q-tip clean
First, imagine that buyers visiting your home will be walking in wearing white gloves and checking every single surface for dust and dirt! It may sound extreme, but statistics show that one of the best ways to make a great first impression is to make sure your home is just spotless.
In a buyer’s mind, a home that is squeaky clean is probably very well maintained as well. Meticulous people tend to take great care of their properties.
If buyers get that feeling when they walk into your home, they will have more confidence in offering you top dollar.
Knock out that honey-do maintenance list
When you’re preparing your house for showings, it’s probably one of the first times your honey-to-do list gets fulfilled quickly! When was the last time you changed your furnace filter? How about power washed the house? Trimmed your trees and bushes? Cleaned out the gutters? Replaced the mulch in your flower beds? Re-caulked the bathroom sink and tub?
Walk through your home with a critical eye and make a list of all the little projects that you need to cross off your checklist. The more you do, the higher offer you get because the buyer doesn’t have to do as much!
Just because you’ve lived with cracks in the walls and rattles in the radiators, doesn’t mean a buyer will too. If you have hardwood floors that need refinishing, be sure to get it done. Hardwood is a huge selling point.
Buyers like to snoop around, so be sure to fix any sticky doors or drawers as well.
Finally, don’t forget to address the exterior – fences, shingles, landscaping, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers will never get inside.
Declutter like a pro
Remember this simple phrase I learned while training to become a professional home stager: Clutter Eats Equity! Don’t let clutter take value away from your Kansas City home.
You will be amazed at the amount of space you will free up in your home. Help buyers visualize how large your closets are, how much storage space there is your home, etc. The more space—the better your offer!
Go through your home, one room at a time, and make three piles. Put what you want to keep in one pile, what you need to throw away in a second pile, and what you can donate to charity in a third pile.
If you haven’t worn something or used something for 6 months, it needs to end up in pile two or three. Start this process about a month before you plan on putting your house on the market, and at the end of each week, bring your piles of donations to your local charity.
Another bonus? You will have lightened the load of what you need to move to your NEW house SIGNIFICANTLY!
Set the tone of a “model home”
A big mistake many sellers make is taking “decluttering” too far, and stripping done their homes to a bare-bones space. The art of staging your home for sale is to create a space that buyers can envision themselves living in. That means DEPERSONALIZING your home—removing personal photos, collections, any taste specific décor and instead setting a neutral palate that appeals to the masses.
Your goal is to showcase your home’s positive features while downplaying its negative ones. Think of the last time you walked through a furnished model home in a new construction community. Also, think of the feeling you get when you walk into a high-end hotel. Go for that vibe!
You want buyers to see themselves in your home. Replace any bold color choices with something more neutral – beige, tans, and whites. Repainting and re-flooring makes everything look fresh and new and helps prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.
My partner Dee and I can help with the secrets to staging a home like a pro! We offer FREE home staging in the Kansas City area.
Remember, the moment you place your home up for sale it is not your personal space anymore. It is a commodity you want a stranger to fall in love with!
Get out of the way
Think about it—you spend hours upon hours depersonalizing your home so buyers can envision themselves living there. Why would you want to be present when the buyer shows up at your door? So many sellers make the mistake of wanting to hover over buyers to make sure they know every detail about their home. That’s a big no-no!
Make sure any open house or showing is an opportunity for the buyers to explore the home on their own without the awkwardness of having you, the seller, present. Trust your agent to share all the details about your property, and leave detailed disclosures, utility information, and other lists of improvements in the home for buyers to take with them.
Bottom line, let your home speak for itself on showing day, and make the message sparkling clear: this is well-maintained home just waiting for its new owners to move right in!
If you follow these 5 steps, your home will be “show-ready” in no time. Let me know if I can help with staging your house for sale!