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Slowly but surely, the housing market is recovering. Homes are worth more now than they have been since the market bottomed out.

More and more renters are starting to think about exploring home ownership either again or for the first time and, according to a recent report, 2015 looks like it will be a good year especially for people who want to sell their homes.

Obviously, the uptick in home sales and positive outlook of consumers is a great thing, especially if you’re hoping to put your house on the market in 2015.

An uptick does not, however, guarantee that your home will sell quickly. There is a lot of competition out there. It is important that you put in the work to make sure that your home looks attractive to potential buyers. Here are some tips that should help you with that.

Rock Your Listing

Seriously. Take photos of your home when the weather is nice and the yard looks good. Even if you don’t think you’ll want to put the listing up for a few months, if you can grab some golden hour light on a good day? Do it.

It is also important that, in addition to lots of great (interior and exterior) photos, your listing is well written. If you’re not a great writer, enlist someone who is good at writing to help you.

Put Up a Great Sign

A lot of future home buyers are taking to the streets to find their next home. In addition to perusing the real estate ads, they’re simply hopping in their cars and driving around in the neighborhoods in which they most want to live, looking for “for sale” signs. Do not simply buy one of those cheap “for sale” signs at your nearest convenience store and hope for the best! You will fare much better if you design a great looking and professional printed sign yourself.

It is also important to make sure that you have spares because for some reason, lawn signs turn up missing a lot. For readers on a budget, you can save lots of money by ordering your signs online and in bulk. Esigns yard signs start at less than $20 a piece!

First Impressions Are Key

The last thing you want is to put your pretty yard sign up in a yard that is littered with debris or that has a dead lawn, etc. Spend some time really sprucing up your yard and the outside of your house. Now is the time to hire the power washing service you’ve been putting off hiring for a few years.

Homes that look like nobody takes care of them are much harder to sell. If you have the money, hire a professional landscaper to get your yards back in shape.

Weather Considerations

If you’re trying to sell your home during the winter, when the weather is working against you, that’s okay: make sure to keep the front walk and sidewalk shoveled and salted, fill in muddy spots, etc. And then, if a potential buyer wants to know what the house looks like during prettier seasons, have some nice pictures on hand to give them an idea of what to expect.

Make sure, too, that you take care of the land strip between the sidewalk and the street. So many home owners neglect that space, thinking that it is the city’s responsibility to care for it. Don’t fall into that trap!

These are just the first steps that you need to take when you’re trying to sell your home, especially if you’re working to sell it during a down economy. After all, we’ve only covered the outside of the house so far. There’s a lot more that you can do on the inside to help potential buyers fall in love with your home!

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