Selling your home doesn’t just mean hiring a Realtor to stick a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in the shortest time.

Declutter: Numero Uno in importance! Most buyers can not see past the clutter. They can not envision living in the house with their personal items. Clutter looks like a dirty house, even if it is clean. Clutter represents work to the buyer and even if they like the layout of the house, they will make a low offer because of the work they feel they have to put into making the house livable. Call Goodwill and get going on this one!

Repair: Just because you’ve gotten used to the cracks in the walls and the rattles in the radiators doesn’t mean a buyer will too. Fix and paint walls with latest colors. 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 cabinets. Finally, don’t forget to address any issues with the exterior fences, shingles, sidewalks, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers may never get to see the inside.

Neutralize. You want buyers to see themselves in your home. If your living room has lime green shag, wood-paneled walls, and all your collectibles and personal photographs, this will be much harder for them to do. Try replacing any bold color choices in your floors and walls with something more neutral like tans, and whites. Repainting and reflooring will make everything look fresh and new, and help prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.

Stage. Once your house is clean and updated, it is time to play dress up. A Home Stager can add small details and decor touches that will bring out the possibilities in the various spaces in your home: lamps, mirrors, throw rugs and pillows, flowers, decorative soaps and towels, patio furniture. Home staging can be particularly useful if your home is especially old or if the exterior looks dated. Think of it as a little mascara and rouge and if done right, you notice the beauty, not the makeup.