5 tips for selling your home

Whether you're moving to a retirement community or downsizing to a smaller home, putting your current house on the market takes careful planning and preparation. You want to make sure that you're asking for the right price and that selling your home doesn't take more time than you have. If you're thinking about starting the next chapter of your life in a new living space, remember these five tips to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. 

1. Freshen up the house with necessary repairs The old, creaky wooden door may not have bothered you during your time in your house, but small damages like this might prevent buyers from making an offer. Fixing furniture and appliances like old cabinets and leaky faucets won't cost you too much and will enhance the appearance and quality of your house. 

It can also help to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Try going with lighter hues to make your living space feel brighter and more inviting for potential buyers. If you don't have much experience painting, choose the color you want and hire a professional to do the work for you.

"Buyers cite good lighting as an essential factor."

2. Add more light According to HGTV, other than the location of the home, buyers cite good lighting as the most important factor when searching for a new house. This includes the natural lighting - take down the drapes and trim any bushes that are blocking light from your windows to let the sun illuminate your space for a more cheerful atmosphere. Some additional quick fixes include increasing the wattage of your light bulbs and updating the lampshades. 

3. Seek professional advice  Determining the best price for your house will make or break the success you have at selling it. It's best to refer to advice from an experienced realtor to assist you in settling on an asking price. Sellers often think that they should start off with the highest price and lower it if they don't have success at first. However, buyers will stay away from your house if it's put on the market at the very top of its price range.

Seek help from a professional realtor to determine an effective asking price.Seek help from a professional realtor to determine an effective asking price.

"The first 30 days' activity of your house being on the market is always the best activity you're going to see," Michael Mahon, general manager of HER Realtors in Columbus, Ohio, told U.S. World and News Report.

4. Do some gardening As your front yard sets the expectations for the interior of your home, buyers aren't going to be impressed if they're welcomed by an overgrown lawn or dead flowers. Take a few days to plant your favorite flowers, mow the lawn or add some sod to your yard to enhance the curb appeal of your home. You'll be surprised at how just a few plants and small improvements can increase your home's appeal for buyers.

"Decluttering your home will make it look bigger."

5. Depersonalize your home Decluttering your home as much as you can will make the space look bigger and fresher. When prospective buyers first walk through your house, they want to be able to envision themselves and their loved ones living there.

Pack up your family photos and personal knickknacks for your new home. Take it one room at a time, as decluttering your home can be both physically and emotionally draining. Ask your family members and friends for help to speed up the process and make the experience more enjoyable.

Downsizing and joining a community where you feel supported and comfortable is an exciting time. Focus on the opportunities to revisit old hobbies and socialize with new people that lay ahead. Putting your home on the market is a necessary step to get you to this next stage of your life, so make sure that you're prepared with these tips to quickly and efficiently sell your house.