If you’ve decided to take the first steps toward selling your home then you know how competitive the real estate market is today. Sellers must dive into this market headfirst, and will encounter stiff competition from others along the way.

Perfectly Prep Your Home for the Real Estate

Many factors go into the desirability of a home, including location, price, and suitability for the buyer’s needs. While there are some aspects of the equation that you can’t control, like location, there are many things that you can do to make your home stand out against the competition.

As many real estate agents will say, the main focus should be to present your home in such a way that the buyers can imagine themselves living in it. To accomplish this you’ll likely need to make some changes to your home, both interior and exterior, that will greatly improve the look and feel of your house.

Read on to learn more about how easy it is to make a few simple changes that will have people flocking to check out your home.

1. Exterior Paint

Curb appeal is very important to a prospective buyer, and your home’s exterior paint color could make or break a sale the minute the buyer arrives. If you’ve painted your home a unique color that suits your taste, you should keep in mind that not everyone shares your fondness for bright green.

Perfectly Prep Your Home for the Real Estate

A tasteful, neutral color works best when presenting your home in its best light. Gray, taupe, and shades of beige work well, and with a neutral palette the buyer can then imagine their own spin on it.

2. Landscaping

Just like the exterior color of house, the state and condition on your landscaping is the first thing a potential buyer sees. If your yard is in poor shape or overgrown, the buyer might develop a preconceived notion that the home itself could also be in poor shape.

You don’t need to have a full-fledged flower garden planted, but do ensure that the lawn is mowed regularly, leaves are raked, and shrubbery is trimmed. Adding a few pots of flowering plants near the front door can do a lot to make your home look inviting.

3. Interior Paint

Just like the exterior paint, the interior colors of your home can have an effect on the buyer’s decision. Again, not everyone loves bright, bold colors and while the buyers certainly have the choice to paint their new home in their own style, many would prefer to purchase a house that is more move-in ready.

If necessary, paint the interior walls in an off white or light, neutral color. A potential buyer will have an easier time picturing their own furnishings and details in the home without a distracting background.

4. Keep It Neat

It goes without saying that you should keep your home neat at all times when it’s for sale. However, it can help by taking that one step further. Use this opportunity to declutter your home, which not only boosts its attraction to a potential buyer, it also helps you with your own impending move.

Work with a professional or on your own, but pare down the things that you don’t need and donate them or hold a sale. Don’t rely on storage space; a buyer could be put off by a garage full of stuff.

5. Make It Homey

Real estate agents know what they’re doing when they put out fresh flowers or homemade cookies when they’re hosting an open house. If someone feels at home when they’re looking at a home, they might be more likely to consider it with more care.

You can help set the stage with a few small touches. If you know that your agent is showing your home on a cold day, light a fire in the fireplace before you leave. A bouquet of fresh, summer flowers on the table can brighten up a dim room. An open book on a window seat helps invite the buyer in. Remember to keep it simple and homey and these little touches can leave a lasting impact.

Selling your home is a big step, and the ultra-competitive market means that your home needs to stand out. Do everything that you can to keep your home neat and free of clutter, and paint in neutral colors to make it easy for the buyer to imagine your space as their own. That combined with a savvy real estate agent could mean that your home sells much faster than you imagined.