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It’s something that every homeowner is likely to do at least once, and perhaps even multiple times. When you put your home on the market, you often picture it selling quite quickly and everything working out very smoothly. This isn’t always the case, but putting some effort in to get your home ready to sell quickly can be a great help.

The property market in the United States goes from strength to strength every year. More than 5.5 million homes are sold across the nation each year, and this figure is rising steadily. The average time it takes to sell a house in the United States is around 60 days, from offer to the actual sale. However, it can take a lot longer than this, and this can be for a variety of reasons.

Some of the reasons for a slow house sale can be out of your control, such as being in a less desirable location. But there are a lot of things you can do to improve the way your home presents so you get the quickest sale possible. Remember that if your house sits on the market for too long, this can be off-putting to potential buyers. They will also feel they have more room to negotiate on the price if they see you are struggling to sell.

That’s why it’s prudent to make your home as good as it can possibly be before you put it on the market, so you sell quickly for the best price possible.

Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

The realtor you choose will market your property to prospective buyers and hopefully secure your sale, so it’s important to choose a good one. Firstly, choose a realtor that is experienced in your locality, as that local knowledge of the housing market will be crucial to both you and your prospective buyers. Also ask them about their success rates for selling properties. In particular, find it how long it took to sell their recent properties and whether the asking price was achieved.

Also consider the fees the realtor is charging, but consider this as part of the overall picture. If the realtor is experienced, proactive and responsive–but they ask for a slightly higher commission than a competitor–it may still be worth going with the more experienced individual.

Clean and Declutter

For the best chance of a achieving a good asking price and a quick sale, you need to make your home more like a show home than a practical place to live. This may sound like hard work, but if you get this right, the process will be easier overall. Firstly, give your house a deep clean from top to bottom, as dirt and grime will be off-putting to prospective buyers, and it will make it seem like the home isn’t well looked after. Remember to clean carpets and curtains, and generally to make surfaces shine.

Also remove as much clutter and unnecessary furniture as you can. This gives an impression of space and order, and allows prospective buyers to focus on imagining themselves living there. This will all help to ensure the photographs of your home come out well, which gets prospective buyers through the door for viewings.

Be Neutral

If you do any interior decorating to get your home sale-ready, choose neutral color schemes and depersonalize the home as much as possible. Neutral paint on the walls and carpets will give potential buyers a blank canvas to think about how they would live in the home. Bold colors, plus lots of personal photos and souvenirs, can distract buyers from feeling like this home could be theirs.

Make Repairs

If anything is broken in your home, get it fixed before putting it on the market. This demonstrates the home is well looked after to prospective buyers, and won’t put them off making an offer. It also means that potential buyers cannot lower their offer because of specific fixes they will need to make when they move in. Ultimately, this increases your chances of achieving the best asking price possible.

Think About First Impressions

It’s important to make your home look great from the inside, but remember to consider the outside of your home too. It’s something we rarely think about when we live somewhere, so stand outside and think about how it could look better. A touch of paint, some basic landscaping, jet washing your driveway, or adding in a new front door could totally transform the way your home looks from the street.

Also make sure the feeling a prospective buyer gets when they step into the house is a good one. You may think of it as just a hallway, but it should feel warm and inviting to set the right impression for the rest of the viewing.