Getting Your Home Sale-Ready

Selling a home in today's unforgiving real estate market is no easy task. Many sellers are holding off until there is an upturn or are slashing prices in order to unload unwanted property. If you want to get the best price for your real estate, you have to plan ahead in order to keep up with stiff competition.

Any possible investment in staging, renovating, or even just tidying up will help make you home more saleable and fetch a better price. Start your pre-sales attack early and follow these tips to help you successful in your sale.

1. Cleanup

This is the easiest, most cost-effective, and too often overlooked method of increasing your odds of a quick-sale. But it isn't just about more thorough dusting, you'll want to rent specialized equipment or hire experts to scrub your home from top to bottom.

Carpets and window treatments should be steam cleaned and even the hardest to reach windows need to be squeaky clean both outside and in. A sparkling home makes it easy for potential buyers to envision themselves moving in right away.

2. Make It Neutral

It's important to make the house appealing to a wide range of potential buyers by creating a neutral palate. This not only applies to the paint on the walls and the carpet color, but you'll want to remove any items or decorations that are too personal. A few family photos or landscape paintings are fine, but you'll want to put your porcelain clown collection in storage.

3. Perfect Imperfections

You know that squeaky step you've learned to ignore over the years? How about those windows that you have to prop open with a folded wad of paper? Buyers will zero in on these defects immediately, and they will count against a potential sale. Have a real estate agent or trusted friend help you identify problem areas that need attention. Many of these you can fix yourself for minimal cost.

4. Beauty On the Outside

It's true that many homeowners are notorious for yard neglect, but curb appeal is important when selling real estate. Although buyers may not know the difference between Kentucky bluegrass and rough bluegrass, they will let an expanse of crab grass deter them from making an offer. A clean facade, neat lawn, and driveway in good condition will help draw in buyers. After all, the first test is getting them through the front door.

5. Invest in Renovations

Not every seller has the luxury or time to invest back into the real estate that they may be desperate to sell, but if possible it is a wise idea. Even updating a single bathroom or adding new cabinets to the kitchen can help pull in a higher asking price. Some new tile, hardware, or lighting can make dramatic changes on small budgets.

If you're not experienced with home improvement, however, spend the extra cash to hire a professional. Mistakes and lost time can be much more costly than getting it done right the first time.