Getting your home ready to be listed on the market can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’ve had more than 5 years to collect stuff in your home and have kids to help create messes. But don’t stress – we have guided hundreds of sellers in the Greater Kansas City area in how to prepare their homes and we have laid out the 5 steps that will help you get your home ready for the market.
Step 1: Meet with a MoJo Real Estate Agent
The first step is to meet with one of our agents on the MoJo Real Estate Team. (Don’t live in the Kansas City area? Reach out to us and we can recommend a trusted agent in your area) This is the first step because we can help you determine how much sweat equity you’ll need to put into your home to reach your goal. We like to ask our sellers which is most important to them in the sale of their home – timing, money, or convenience. The answer to that question will help us give you the best suggestions to prepare your home for your specific situation and goals. The agent will also tour your home to get a clearer picture on how your home compares to the competition. If your home needs some updates to be able to fetch you the top dollar that you’d like, then our agent will provide you with suggested repairs and/or updates you’ll want to complete before we list your home. We can also save you from completing costly projects that won’t give you your return on investment.
Step 2: Make Repairs & Updates
The next step is to make the recommended repairs and updates, if needed. It is always a good idea to get ahead of any safety or major issues that will arise on an inspection of the home, as those items will almost always need to be addressed prior to the closing anyway. Things like leaks, plumbing problems, electrical issues, and problems with the HVAC system are amongst a list of items that can cause a house to fail an inspection. And unless you’re selling the home “as-is”, the buyers are going to request that these issues are addressed prior to closing on the home. There are also simple DIY projects that can make a big impact on the presentation of your home. One of the easiest of these is interior paint, which is especially recommended if you’ve painted your walls bold colors that may be off putting to potential buyers that want a move-in ready home. We keep a long list of trusted vendors that can help you complete projects you’d like help on.
Step 3: Meet with Our Stager
As part of our listing services to our clients we provide a 2-hour appointment with our trusted home stager, Sue Shores of Changeit Redesign & Staging. Sue does a fantastic job working with our clients in a way that they can stage their homes well with what they already have in their homes. No need to purchase unnecessary decor items to only use for a short period of time. Sue will also give you instructions on what you should remove to make the home more presentable. This will include removing excess furniture, personal items such as family photos, small decor pieces, and putting away items that are usually left on horizontal surfaces like counters and desks. We understand that having someone come in and tell you how to make your home look better to potential buyers can sometimes feel abrasive but please try not to take these instructions personally. Sue is great at what she does and following her guidance will help your home give a great first impression, both in photos online, where 50% of buyers find their home, and in person.
Step 4: Declutter & Depersonalize
Next, it’s time to get a head start on your packing! Decluttering and depersonalizing your home will be two of the actions that Sue will highly recommend. Decluttering will make a huge impact on the way your home is viewed, especially in photos, which is crucial since every buyer will be looking at the photos of your home before they decide if they want to see the home in-person. Go ahead and pack away things that you don’t need on a day to day basis – like your off-season clothing and shoes, appliances that you only use occasionally, and small and excessive decor items. Feel free to store these boxes in your unfinished basement area or garage, potential buyers will be understanding of the boxes. Decluttering also includes going through your home and getting rid of things that you no longer have use for. You can learn more about how you can be eco-conscious while decluttering in our blog post here.
Depersonalization of your home is highly encouraged for a more psychological reason. Removing personal items like family photos, mementos, and collectibles allows the potential buyers to feel less like they are visitors in someone else’s home and enable them to better envision their family calling the house their new home. This is also a good time to make sure you have safely stored away any important small items that could be stolen like prescription medication, money, personal information, jewelry, etc. Although only licensed agents will be bringing buyers into your home, there is still the chance that someone posing as a buyer can take advantage of the situation. Ensure that you are also able to either lock away or remove any guns from the property as some buyers may be bringing in small children with them to showings and their attention may become diverted away from their child. Better safe then sorry on both instances.
Step 5: Clean, Clean, Clean
Finally, your house is almost ready to hit the market! All there is left to do is clean! The level of cleaning that you’ll want to do again goes back to your goal and what you find most important in the sale of your home. If you’re wanting to fetch top dollar for your home, you’re going to want to make sure your home is very clean. You’ll want to make sure you’re cleaning everything – for example, you may not think of it but dirty oven doors are one of the things that stand out the most in photos of the kitchen. You can find an extensive and thorough guide to home cleaning on Glamorous Place. And if you don’t have the time or patience to deep clean your home, you can look into a cleaning service to do it for you. One of our favorite cleaning companies in Kansas City is A Green Way because they specialize in show ready cleaning and even use environmentally friendly cleaning products. Having a clean home goes a long way to presenting your home in the best light possible, showing potential buyers that the home is well cared for and worth your asking price.
When you complete these 5 steps your house will be ready to hit the market with its best footing forward (house pun) and will be most likely to sell in the least amount of time for the most money. The MoJo Real Estate Team would love to help guide you all along the way, from first meeting to closing, keeping your best interest at the forefront of everything we do. Even if you don’t live in the Greater Kansas City area, we would be honored to help you find a quality real estate agent in your area.
Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay