Here are some hints to make your house sell—since sometimes all it takes is a little effort for a big payoff.

  • Make a list. Keeping yourself organized is very important when selling your home. Whether you are using a real estate agent or selling your home yourself, every little thing matters.'s Home Sale Worksheet will assist you with the preparation and sale of your home, providing personalized check lists for choosing a real estate agent, preparing your home, tracking costs and monitoring the progress of the sale.
  • Get a fresh coat of paint. A fresh coat of paint can do a lot for a room; it can brighten things up and make things feel more updated. However, try to use neutral colors, since anything too flashy can deter home buyers. Stick with shades like taupe, egg shell and other subtle colors.
  • Mow the lawn. Of course this seems like common sense, but landscaping can make or break a sell because of a bad first impression. Consider trimming back unruly planets, picking up the yard and really making as many inexpensive changes as possible.
  • Go through your house with a fine tooth comb. Find the little things to fix, and fix them. Also it never hurts to hire someone to go through your house with suggestions on staging and fixing things up.  A few repairs can go a long way. Even little things like a creaky door or an unclean floor can change a home buyer's mind.
  • Consider a home inspection. While home inspections can be expensive, you can save yourself time later because you may be able to bypass further inspections from potential home buyers.
  • Remove the "you" factor. Take down family photos and get rid of any sign of pets. Potential home buyers want to imagine themselves living in the house.  Do whatever you can to make it homey, but still a blank slate.  
  • Make the house as open as possible. Remove as much furniture as you can. The house needs to look spacious and open. Consider the hotel look—only the necessary furniture should be present. It is probably a good idea to get a storage unit for your other furniture.
  • Keep things neutral during the open house. Try not to keep the heat too high or too low during an open house. Also consider the power of scent. If your house has slight odors, don't attempt to mask them with air sprays. Instead, use a neutralizing air freshener or try something like baking cinnamon rolls in the oven or putting fresh flowers on a table.
  • Clean up the closets. Buyers are curious creatures, and they enjoy opening drawers, cabinets and closets, so you should organize these spaces. An organized closet says that you take good care of your things and your home. Keeping things as neat as possible in the kitchen will connote a sense of cleanliness that makes buyers feel at ease.