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The fastest way to sell your home

The process of selling a home can be overwhelming. It takes a great deal of preparation, and sometimes it’s difficult to know where to focus your energies.

Here are eight tips to ensure you sell your home fast — and at the right price.

1. Get the right agent

For many real estate agents, selling houses is a part-time gig. The majority of realtors sell only three or four homes a year. It should be obvious you are better off with an agent that sells a dozen or more homes a year that are similar to yours in price and style. When looking for an agent, ask for references. Find out what clients liked or did not like about the agent.

Realestateabc.com recommends asking agent candidates some critical questions: “What is more valuable: an agent who listed 32 homes and sold 25, or an agent who listed 12 homes and sold all 12? … How many listings did not sell? How many were reduced over and over before they sold? How long were the houses on the market? How smoothly was the process handled?”

2. Check out the agent’s marketing

Ninety-two percent of homebuyers start their house hunt online, according to Reader’s Digest. The key to getting people to look at your home is taking compelling pictures, and lots of them. Research shows that listings with six or more pictures are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers as listings with fewer than six photos. Make sure your prospective agents have great online listings.

3. Price it right

No other element of home selling is more important than proper pricing. Mortgage loans are based on the value of comparable properties in the area. If your home is overpriced, potential buyers might have difficulty getting a loan approved for your property. Real estate marketplace Zillow.com suggests that your price should be within 10 percent of the average sold price in your area.

4. Boost the curb appeal

If great pictures convince prospective buyers to check out your home, you want to make sure that they are not disappointed when they drive up and see the real thing. Flaking paint, overgrown landscaping and junk stacked in the yard might drive away potential buyers without even looking inside.

5. Fix obvious problems, big or small

If a potential buyer likes two properties and one is move-in ready while the other needs a new roof, chances are he will choose the one that doesn’t require work. In a 2013 Kiplinger article, author Cameron Huddleston noted “even minor things, such as a leaky faucet or chipped paint on a baseboard, can suggest to buyers that you might not be maintaining the house well.”

6. Get rid of clutter

Forbes.com advises if you want to sell your home fast, “It is imperative to remove all clutter from the home before showing it to potential buyers because buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the space. This might include removing some furniture to make rooms look bigger, and putting away family photographs and personal items.”

7. Use your connections — friends, networking, social media

Tell friends, neighbors, co-workers and anyone else you can when you get ready to sell your house. You might get lucky and get an offer without even having to list it for sale. Also, choosing an agent with a large database of active clients is important to consider before listing your home.

8. Accept reasonable offers

Sometimes when home sellers get an early offer slightly below their asking price, they start to worry they have underpriced the home. Or they might believe an early offer means there will be a lot of interest and they can wait for a full-price offer. If you and your real estate agent have done your homework, don’t reject a reasonable price hoping for something better.

If you plan to sell your home any time soon, these suggestions should provide a road map for a quick sale.