There's no denying that the process of selling a home can be overwhelming, intimidating, and downright stressful.

Planning and preparing before listing your home for sale are the most proactive ways to mitigate the stress related with selling your most prized possession.

You can't control surprises, but here are FIVE things you can control and do to sell your home for the most money in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of worry...and stress.

1. Declutter, declutter, and when you're done decluttering, declutter some more. 

You've heard it countless times. I mean, you can't turn on HGTV and not hear the word every thirty seconds. 

So you'd think every home on the market would be clutter-free, right? Wrong. 

Too much clutter can make a buyer feel stressed and negative while walking through your home. I'm stressed out just looking at this picture!

You want buyers to walk through your home and see its full potential. You don't want to leave them feeling like the rooms and closets are small and that the floor plan has no flow.

When buyers feel stressed, they rush through the showing and miss out on your home's most important features. 

Simplified spaces evoke positive emotions and help buyers envision themselves living in your home.

Yes, it can be a time-consuming and emotionally-charged process, but it is IMPACTFUL and absolutely necessary.

2. New, but bad (or wrong) home improvements. 

Home improvements that run counter to today's aesthetics are a HUGE turn-off. 

This happens more often than it should. It breaks my heart when homeowners spend their hard-earned cash on the wrong improvements or choose the wrong finishes and materials.

Yes, HGTV said your home's value would increase by $______ if you remodeled the kitchen. But nobody wants thermofoil cabinets and black granite counter tops in 2017.

Check with a local broker, home stager or interior designer before you make an investment in a pre-sale remodel. They'll save you a lot of time and money.

3. Avoid Limbo Land. Price your home to sell.

Overpricing a home to "test the market" is one of the biggest mistakes a seller can make. Let me explain.

Sellers often think it's a good idea to start the list price high to give them room for negotiations and then lower it later if the home doesn't sell.

This strategy ("chasing the market"), more often than not, leads to a home languishing on the market, which leads to an even lower sale price.

Making multiple incremental price drops but never quite catching up with the market causes a listing to appear stale and plants a seed of doubt in the mind of home buyers.

Instead of, "What a pretty kitchen!", buyers are left wondering, "What's wrong with this house?". 

That's assuming they saw the home in the first place. When an educated buyer sees an overpriced home whose seller is unrealistic about the home's value, they won't even bother seeing it in person.

If they do see it and like it, they'll wait for the home to sit on the market and go through the price reduction cycle before placing a lowball offer. 

Oftentimes, sellers don't realize that a high price keeps buyers from making an offer. "If a buyer likes my home, he will OBVIOUSLY make an offer.", the thinking goes. Except that's rarely the case. 

Ultimately, you decide what the list price for your home is. But why deprive yourself of the professional advice and market expertise you're paying for?

Price your home at the sweet spot from the get go and sell for more.

4. Poor photographs or none at all.

Real estate photographs are worth more than 10,000 words. 

Among buyers who used the Internet during their home search (basically everybody), 87 percent found photos about properties for sale very useful.

If you've searched for homes online, chances are you've noticed the majority of homes advertised online have poor photographs or none at all.

When the photographs used to advertise a home for sale are poor, buyers move on to the next home in their online search.

According to an analysis completed by IMOTO, a company that creates real estate photography for sellers and REALTORS, listings using professional photography sold 50 percent faster and 39 percent closer to the original list price than similar homes without professional photos.

The study also found that listings using professional photography were viewed 118 percent more than comparable listings.

Never let photographs be the reason why someone passes on your home.

5. Make your home available for showings.

You decluttered your home, avoided the bad home improvement projects, priced it right from the get go, and the photographs are on point.

It's showtime! Time to make your home available for buyers to experience it in person.

I can't say it enough. It's IMPORTANT that your home is easy to show. Let me say it again. It's IMPORTANT that your home is easy to show.  

The more your home is shown, the more likely you are to receive offers to purchase your home. The more offers you receive, the higher your chances of selling your home for the most the market will bear in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of worry and stress.

It is common to receive same-day and even last-hour showing requests. Although it may sound unreasonable, oftentimes, those turn out to be the most motivated buyers.

Nine times out of ten, if a buyer or buyer's agent cannot schedule a showing appointment on the first try, they won't attempt to reschedule for a latter date. Missed opportunity.

Don't miss opportunities. Remember, the showing you turn down could be the buyer who falls in love with your home.

Thinking about selling your home? 

Contact us today. 

Let's talk about your goals and how we can help you devise a plan to achieve them. No gimmicks. No pressure. Just professional advice based on experience and market expertise.