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What things should you do before you sell a house?

As you get ready to sell your house, you want to make it as attractive as possible. There are many things you can do that don't cost too much that can help improve your chances of selling your house at a good price.

The first thing to do is to give your house a hard, objective look. What looks good; what needs help? Hire a professional cleaning service to keep your home clean while it's on the market. As good a job cleaning as you can do, a professional service can also get to the big items, like windows, curtains, appliances and carpets. You also want to get your home organized; even if your home is clean, clutter will make it look less appealing. So keep the clutter down to a minimum and keep your kids on this task as well.

Painting your home, inside and/or outside, can be a relatively inexpensive way to improve your home's appearance. Off-white is the color recommended for your home's interiors. Even if you don't want (or need) to paint all the interiors, see what could use sprucing up -- it might just be a room or two. The same goes for the outside of your home. You don't need to have it all repainted; just touching up cracks or peeling paint on the exterior can be enough.

Other steps you might take to make your house look a little more attractive to potential buyers include replacing moldings, shutters or trim that need it. Look at your house from the sidewalk and a bit farther down the street -- does it look inviting? You might want to improve the landscaping or take note of whether your trash cans look ugly. Assessing this "curb appeal" can help you make changes that invite more prospective buyers into your home.