Seven tips for selling a home faster

There are things you can do to help sell your home faster. 

1. Check your curb appeal
Drive down your street and view the front of your home. Make sure the outside is as attractive as the inside. Weed, cut the grass, edge the beds and drive, trim the hedges and plant flowers. Next, paint or power-wash your siding to give it a fresh appearance.

2. Make a great first impression
When it comes to selling a house, a good first impression can actually mean more money, so make sure the entryway is impeccable. Sweep the porch, dust the door, wash the windows, vacuum the mats -- give potential buyers a warm welcome.

3. De-clutter
There should be no clutter. All miscellaneous items should be removed or stored on shelves in attractive baskets. In the kitchen, clear the refrigerator of pictures, drawings and magnets. In fact, remove everything personal -- family photos, keepsakes, tchotchkes. Leave surfaces empty, with maybe one dramatic decorative piece as an accent. Your home will appear more spacious and open, which are key selling benefits.

4. Clean and/or paint
Walls should be freshly painted or, at a minimum, the trim should be touched up and clean. Chipped and peeling paint, scratches and dings on the walls can give the impression the home is not well cared for.

5. If it's broke, fix it
Ensure it is all in working order, especially when it comes to faucets, fixtures and drawers -- anything that's easy for people to test.

6. Tidy behind closed doors
Clean and organize your cabinets, drawers and closets. Yes, people will open them, and they'll form an opinion.

7. Look at it through a visitor's eyes
Be prepared to do the work on your home before listing it. After that, a critical eye is your best tool. Walk through your home and check every room to make sure it's clean and uncluttered.

And, when it comes to an open house or private tours, step aside and allow your Realtor to show the home and answer any questions.

Excerpt from Real Estate Weekly