If you’re thinking of selling your home, now may be a great time. Yes, the market’s certainly ready to sell your home, but is your home ready to be sold? We’ve got some tips for you today that can help you get the most value for your house. Common sense and countless real estate shows on cable tell you that staging your home to attract buyers is important. True, in this market, it’s easy to sell a house, but that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily get the best possible price. According to the National Association of Realtors, three-quarters of their agents say staging makes it easier for buyers to see themselves in the home. DE-PERSONALIZE So that’s where you need to start by taking your presence out of the home. You want to store away items that personalize the house, such as family pictures and kids’ artwork on the fridge. You’ll also want to stow out of sight personal hygiene items like toothbrushes, combs and hair brushes. DE-CLUTTER While you’re at it, you need to declutter your home. Obviously all mail and personal papers should be out of sight, the kids’ toys, too. And you can’t just cram everything in the closets. This is a good time to get rid of clothing you no longer use, to make closets look more spacious. The same goes for most of the rooms, too. To show the full space potential of the home, you don’t want it crammed with furniture, especially oversized furniture. If necessary, rent a storage unit for a few months and keep just the essential furniture in the home. This is also an excellent time to have a garage sale or to make a big haul of stuff you no longer want to a nonprofit thrift store - or both. The less stuff you have in the home, the bigger it looks. Now that you’ve completely decluttered, it’s time to fix things. It’s doing to do a little fixing up. MINOR RENOVATIONS Look for dings and dents in the drywall and patch them. Sand them smooth and apply fresh paint, assuming you saved some from your last paint job. If not, this is also a good time to repaint rooms that need it. You want to stay with light, neutral colors. You might be wild about chartreuse and puce, but odds are prospective buyers won’t be. Basic white is the best color to de-personalize a room. It’ll also make the home much brighter, which is also important. Worn, dirty or stained carpet will turn away potential buyers. You may not want to recarpet if you intend to sell, but you’re assured of getting at least some of that money back if buyers see brand new carpeting, again in a neutral color. Once the fix-up and repainting are complete, give your home the best cleaning you’ve ever done and keep it that way. It’s much easier to keep your house clean than it is to make it clean again if you’ve let things go. Obviously, this is a lot of work, but fortunately, you don’t have to go overboard in every room of the house. Real estate agents will tell you that the rooms you need to concentrate on for staging are the kitchen, living room and master bedroom, so put your focus there. Bathrooms, and kids’ rooms are less important, but again, they should be spic and span. ARRANGEMENT Now you should give some thought to how your remaining furniture is arranged. You want it spaced appropriately leaving plenty of room for folks to walk through without banging a knee on your coffee table. Once you’ve done all of this, you might be thinking that the home looks pretty sterile. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but you can add some touches to make it seem more livable. A few, framed prints of landscapes or seascapes here and there will break up long expanses of wall. You can also make the house seem more alive by adding a potted plant here and there, just make sure to water them and pick off any dead leaves. They need to look healthy. If you’re expecting buyers or having an open house, a bouquet of fresh flowers in the foyer or on the kitchen table is a nice touch. Make sure to pick up any petals that fall off. Also consider adding air freshener or a pot pourri to give your home a pleasant fragrance. Or, you can bake cookies just before buyers arrive and leave a plate of them on the counter with a note saying, Help yourself. These things will give your home a pleasant aroma. You’ll also want to open your curtains and blinds to let in as much light as possible. Another nice touch is to turn on all of your lights, including closet lights, ahead of any expected buyers. That way they won’t have to stumble around in the dark looking for them. CURB APPEAL Time for just a note about the outside of the house. Of course, it should look clean. Power wash any dirt or mildew off the siding. Cut the grass, pick weeds and do some edging. And add a flower bed or two. All of these things will give you curb appeal and make a good first impression on your potential buyers. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●Does a car lease ever make sense vs buying? ●Why might your credit score go up and down frequently? ●How does a young adult figure out how to manage money wisely? ●How do you determine whether to buy a home or continue renting? ●Does it make sense to get a home equity loan to fund repairs on a rental property?