Selling Your Home: Before Your House Goes on the Market

Teeing up your home for sale might be the most important part of the process. From curb appeal to decluttering, make a commitment to set aside sentimentality and focus on maximizing your home’s marketability. A lot of family photos have to be boxed up, walls may need a fresh coat of paint, and that cushy but worn recliner might have to be retired.

Professional stagers help prepare a home for sale for a fee, and the results can be dramatic. Pros often will remove half the furniture in a home to make it appear larger. The International Association of Home Staging Professionals says such services reduce a home’s time on the market from an average of 90 days, to 11 days — and staged homes sell for 17% more than nonstaged homes.

In the meantime, taking an objective view of your local real estate market will help you manage your expectations, as well as price and market your home properly. In a seller’s market, you might expect multiple bids above your opening listing price. But in a buyer’s market, you might have to discount your asking price.