As you are preparing to sell your home, you are filled with anticipation about the possibilities. You could be making a tidy profit or excited about finding your dream home. Yet along the way, it is crucial you take a few steps before you actually list your home for sale. If you want to emerge from the sale with more money in your pockets and fewer headaches along the way, here are five things to always do before listing.

Use a Real Estate Agent
If you’ve had friends or family trying to convince you to do a “for sale by owner” with your home, don’t give in to temptation. Instead, hire a seasoned real estate agent to advise you before you list your home for sale. If you don’t, you are almost certain to make key mistakes along the way that will cost you thousands of dollars. Also, if you try selling on your own, you’ll soon find yourself overwhelmed with trying to show your house to potential buyers and figuring out the details associated with selling a home.

Lose the Clutter
Inside and outside your home, lose the clutter. Whether it’s kitchen counters, windowsills, various tables and desks, your deck or patio, and even your garage and yard. Go through these areas and get rid of as much stuff as possible. If you don’t, your home may look more like a junkyard, and may also look too lived-in for a prospective buyer to envision the home as their own. Remember to not try hiding everything in closets, since buyers will look in these spots as well.

No Title Problems
While you may assume you have no problems associated with your home’s title, the fact is many homeowners have found themselves ready to sell their home, only to discover a snag with their home’s title. Whether it’s a long-forgotten lien against your home or perhaps a person trying to commit fraud, hiring a real estate attorney to examine your home’s title is always a smart decision. Along with this, the attorney can also help you understand various aspects of contracts associated with selling your home.

Hide Your Valuables
Unfortunately, you never know just who may be walking through your home once it’s listed for sale. Therefore you should always hide your valuables, such as jewelry or artwork. Should something disappear during an open house, you may never see it again.

Give It a Good Cleaning
Finally, always give your home a good cleaning from top to bottom. Make sure you remove any odors that may be present, especially if you have pets. Should prospective buyers come in and smell unpleasant odors, they will waste no time leaving.

By doing these five things prior to listing your home, you may find yourself selling your home much quicker than you ever thought possible.

-By Rachelle Wilber