You’ve finally decided that you want to sell your house. Your house is on the market, and you’ve found a real estate agent you can trust. Now what? The next and most obvious step is to get your home sold. To help aid in the selling of your home, I will outline some tips that I personally believe will benefit in the marketability and potential selling of your home. The goal here is to obtain that all-important “stamp of approval” in which the red imprint reads: “SOLD.”

Usually, the first place your potential buyer is going to see will be the front of your house. The goal here is to make it as attractive as possible, but more importantly, inviting. First impressions are very important. First positive impressions, if you will, are even more important. The key here is to make sure everything looks neat and clean. Cut the grass, pull out the weeds, trim the bushes, plant some flowers, and clear out the walkway.

Make sure your home is clean. These include things like steam cleaning your carpets, mopping your floors, dusting hard-to-reach areas, and cleaning your windows (both inside and out). Potential buyers are very picky people, and as such, they like to inspect as much as they can.

Try and keep both colors and styles neutral. The key here is not to influence your buyer with your own personal style. Someone might walk in, look at a red wall, and be immediately turned off. The idea is to try and make them visualize the colors for themselves. Keeping things neutral is a good solution to this “problem.”

Check lighting. No one wants to look at a house that they can’t see. Seems obvious, right? Unfortunately, as a real estate agent myself, I’ve had quite a few cases where this element has been overlooked. Check your light bulbs, and make sure they’re working. Although I recommend checking all the light bulbs, I’d be more concerned with the areas in the house that are darker or that require more artificial lighting. These include places like the basement and bathrooms. It’s also a good idea to open your curtains. Simply put, the more natural light, the better.

Make repairs if necessary. These include things like a fresh coat of paint, patching up of any holes in the wall, and torn patio screens. You want your buyer to feel like your home has been well taken care of. This is a big plus.

Try to avoid clutter. One of the worst things that can happen is when your buyer feels “boxed in.” Try and keep clutter to a minimum. Remove any unnecessary items such as too many pictures and accessories. The goal here is you want to have your house feel like a home, yet at the same time have it as spacious and organized as possible. You want the buyer to get a good sense of the space and visualize it as their own.

After all, is said and done, it is important to note that the aforementioned tips do not guarantee the sale of one’s home, although it can certainly help. Everyone is different, and there are other variables to consider. But like I said, these certainly can help. As a final test, invite a friend over and have them share their opinions with you about the presentation of your home. In the best-case scenario, it is best to invite someone that has never been to your house (or not that often). In this way, they can view your home with a “fresh pair of eyes.” All of these suggestions boil down to one common goal: You want your home to feel inviting, and have your potential buyer view it as their own.