Written By: Cathie Ericson

Getting ready to sell your house? Then it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work! Selling a home, after all, entails a whole lot more than just planting a “For Sale” sign on your front lawn or uploading a few random photos of your place—especially if you’re angling for the most cash. (And, honestly, who isn’t?)

So before you put your house on the market, peruse this checklist of things you must do in preparation. Some of these tips are surprisingly easy, while others might require a bit more elbow grease. But they’re bound to pay off once buyers start oohing and ahhing over your place—and hopefully ponying up a great offer.

1. Find a great real estate agent
Think you can sell your home yourself, and pocket the cash you would otherwise pay an agent? It can be tempting, especially in a hot market, but resist the urge, says Jon Sterling, a real estate consultant with Keller Williams Realty in San Francisco. He’s found that a “For Sale by Owner” transaction is almost always a disaster, leading you to sacrifice both money and time.
That said, don’t just blindly hire the agent who most recently sent you a flyer or the one your uncle’s friend’s co-worker’s cousin used. Do some research to find a real estate agent (or ideally a few) who is knowledgeable about your specific market, and then interview her to make sure she’s a good fit.

2. Consider your curb appeal
Make sure the first thing prospective buyers see of your home entices them to want to see more. Yes, for better or worse, buyers do tend to judge a book by its cover. By investing some effort in relatively easy fixes like planting colorful flowers and repainting your front door, the outside of your house can beckon them to come on in.

3. Declutter living areas
Less is definitely more when it comes to getting your house ready to show, notes Boris Sharapan Fabrikant, a real estate broker with Triplemint….

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