guaranteed soldSelling your home can be exciting, but it also can be very stressful. However, the process will go much smoother if you prepare properly. Getting your home ready to put on the market before you actually show it to any buyers will give you a leg up on your competitors.

Clean and declutter
Nobody likes a messy house, and people are going to have a hard time considering buying yours if it doesn’t look clean. Before showing your house, clean it thoroughly, which means more than just vacuuming and wiping down counters. You want to clean in places you might not normally do so, such as cleaning windows, dusting blinds, cleaning baseboards and wiping down your ceiling fan blades. You also want to declutter as much as possible. That coat tree that sits by your front door? Shove it in a closet. Also organize closets and storage spaces and throw away or donate anything you don’t need any more.

Modernize and neutralize
Though you may think that orange accent wall in your living room is just grand, most buyers won’t. Once you plan to sell, you have to emotionally detach yourself from your home. The best thing you can do is ensure all rooms are painted in neutral colors. You also might want to take the time and spend a little money to update fixtures, such as out-of-date light fixtures.

Fix anything that’s broken
You may have lived with that drippy faucet for years, but to potential buyers, it’s a sign of neglect, and it will make them wonder what else is wrong with the home. You should fix any minor issues that are likely to be noticed during a showing, such as lights that don’t work, doors and windows that don’t open and close properly, and any broken fixtures. You might as well make major fixes as well — the kind of things you know wouldn’t pass a home inspection. You also should take care of any minor things, like patching up holes and cracks in walls and replacing broken tile or floorboards.

Bump up your curb appeal
The first thing a potential buyer is going to see is the outside of your home, so you want to spend some time sprucing up there before showing your home. This includes keeping your lawn mowed and reseeding or sodding areas that are dead. You also should trim back trees and shrubs and dispose of any brush piles that have accumulated on your property. Fix any broken gutters, downspouts or shingles, and seal up any cracks in your sidewalk, driveway or foundation. Also clean any stains on the driveway as best as possible and get rid of any junk lying around.