To primp and prep your home before you stick the "for sale" sign in your yard, attention to detail is essential. "Imperfections that we often overlook in our own homes tend to turn prospective buyers off because they overestimate the cost of repairs," says Candy Welch of ERA Wilder Realty in Columbia, S.C.
1. Don't Forget the Touch-Ups
"Make a list of the aesthetic issues you need to address," says Scott Halliwell, a certified financial planner TM practitioner with USAA. Then, tackle leaky faucets, malfunctioning appliances and other problem areas. Set a reasonable budget for repairs, Halliwell says. "You're spending to try to sell the house faster."
2. Stage Your Home
"Statistics produced by the Real Estate Staging Association show that homes that are professionally staged sell 73 percent faster," says James Hart of the nonprofit association's New York chapter. When staging, consider a neutral interior look and don't forget to declutter. Outside, pay attention to curb appeal.
3. Invest in Photos
Nine in 10 people shop online for homes, according to the National Association of Realtors. "Potential buyers are making fast decisions on which properties they'd like to see based on imagery," says Hart. Ask potential real estate agents if they will hire a professional photographer to shoot your home.