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Even in the hottest markets, getting ready to list your home is a process. You want to do everything you can to make sure you get the best offers and can move your house quickly for a great price.

If you are considering selling your house, make sure you are prepared. Follow these 10 tips to list your home successfully to make the most out of your investment.

#1) Gather Your Paperwork

Even before your first meeting with a Realtor® or finance professional, gather all of the paperwork related to your home. This includes the deed, the mortgage, any inspection or appraisal results, exterminator bills, and invoices from home repair professionals. This information will be important when reviewing the value of your home and meeting with your financial advisor.

#2) Request a Consultation from a Realtor®

If you’re not sure where to start with the preparations for selling your home, ask a Realtor® to visit your home and offer a consultation. They should be able to provide an estimate for the timeline to sell the house and provide insight into the current market. They can also give you a list of suggestions and improvements before you list your home. This is also a good way to interview a Realtor® before you hire them.

Recommended: 5 Tips For Working with a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your House

#3) Declutter Your Space

Before you list your home, go through every closet, cabinet, and room to declutter. Donate bags of clothes and useful items to organizations that need them, all while decluttering your space. The goal is to get organized and get rid of things. Decluttering can make your home more appealing to buyers and decrease the chance of people getting distracted by your stuff while viewing your house. Plus, the more you toss out now, the less you will have to pack up and move.

#4) Finish Projects You Started

Do you have home improvement projects that you plan to get to “someday”? Have you started projects that still need to be completed two, three, or six months later? Before you can list your home, you need to complete these projects. An incomplete project creates more work for buyers and distracts them from the rest of the home. Plus, these projects could increase your home value. Set aside a few weekends to complete the flooring project or repairs that you wanted to get done so they can add, rather than detract, from the selling process.

#5) Conduct a Smell Test

Over time, you get used to the smells of your home. A Realtor® will be able to conduct a smell test where they walk through your home and point out unwanted smells or overpowering odors. They can make recommendations to make your space smell neutral but pleasant. This smell test also applies to essential oils. While you might think the smell is appealing, it could cause headaches or allergic reactions for buyers during showings.

#6) Remove Personal Items and Valuables

Remove and store your personal items (like photos, diplomas, and other mementos) along with valuables like jewelry in a safe location. This could mean storing them with a friend or investing in a safe for your home. While the likelihood of theft is minimal during showings, you can put your mind at ease before you even list your home.

#7) Get Your Home Professionally Cleaned

Cleaning is an important part of listing your home. You will have to keep it clean for showings and make sure it is ready to be seen at all times. Before you list your home, consider hiring a cleaning service that specializes in home sales. They can get into the small spaces and focus on the details to make your house shine.

#8) Improve Your Curb Appeal

Cleaning and decluttering isn’t just for inside your house. Consider the first impression that your home makes. You may need to cut back some bushes or plant some flowers to improve your curb appeal and win over potential buyers.

#9) Consider Staging Your Home

If you meet with a Realtor®, they may recommend home staging. This is when you remove your current décor and replace it with clean, contemporary pieces that help it sell. Ask your Realtor® if this is the best option for you based on your home style. Home staging is also a good idea if you move before you sell your house, as empty houses don’t look as appealing and welcoming as furnished homes.

Related: 10 Home Staging Tips That Sell a House Fast

#10) Research the Current Market

If you don’t need to sell your home right now, then you may want to wait. There are buyers’ and sellers’ markets which dictate supply and demand. If you are in a buyers’ market, then there are more homes than interested buyers. You may want to wait a few months for the demand to shift more in your favor. Some sellers also wait for the best time of year to sell a house.

List Your Home With The Help of a Professional Realtor®

You don’t have to be an expert in staging or resale value if you want to list your home. Instead, work with a real estate professional who knows your neighborhood and has experience selling your type of home. They can help you navigate the sales process from your initial meeting to the final closing.

To find an experienced real estate professional in your area, use our EffectiveAgents,com search feature. Submit the criteria you want in a Realtor®, and our advanced algorithm will find the right agent for you. Start the sales process off right with a partner who knows the way and can guide you through the process of listing (and selling) your home.

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