This will be #2 in this series. For newcomers to the blog, I'm googling how to sell your home. I find interesting articles here and there and make comments on my perspective, in light of our area around Hot Springs and the homes for sale here.

Today's "look-see" is an article from U.s. News and world report...or Money magazine. It appears to be both. Here is the link if you want to look in the article for details, but hopefully my comments will help.

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/10-tips-to-sell-your-home-fast

Let's see what they say :) in "10 tips to sell your home fast" (I like this better already that HGTV's "10 best kept secrets..." which was balderdash as a title.

They begin with MY first two tips! I like them already ;). The top 2 tips to me are setting the correct price, and trying to knock it out of the park on the first impression. Now.. more tips! Price it right from the start
And that would be most agents' mantra... you do not want to "test" the market and see if some poor schlep will pay more than what the home is worth. Remember the BUBBLE POPPING a few years back?? Guess what was a prime cause?? Faulty appraisals and loans, etc. that sold homes for more than what they were worth... there are lots of things in place to keep this from happening in the housing market. OH... let's not forget that ever present "cash buyer". Yes... they are beating down the doors to let go of cash to buy homes for more than they are worth...NOT. Price it right from the get-go. Listen to your real estate agent, get an appraisal.

#2: Enhance your home's curb appeal.   I sort of did a dissertation on this in the other post, so I will spare you on this one. Suffice it to say that the "curb appeal" brings them inside... there is another first impression awaiting as the door opens...

#3 Update the interior and exterior...  but don't price yourself out of the market by doing so. RESEARCH what will help sell the home vs. return on your investment. OR, make a price adjustment or give a credit toward closing costs....  kill the "individualized colors". It was nice of you to let your daughter paint her room hot pink, but that is going to turn off some buyers (even though most of them know paint is the easiest thing to change, some of them will remember that there was "something" about the home that really turned them off)

#4 Clean, declutter and depersonalize... Very true. The home has GOT to look it's "Sunday Best". Cleaning should be a no brainer. If the home is not clean, it will speak to how the home is maintained (If they can't keep it clean, have they maintained it??).
You hear a great deal about de-cluttering. MY house is horribly cluttered. But my house is not on the market. We all have our "stuff", but OUR stuff does not let the buyers mentally move in if there is no room for them to picture THEIR stuff.
Depersonalize. Oh yeah. I love my pictures of my kids and grandkids all over, but if my house were going on the market, I would put out my favorite one and then pack the rest. That goes with the nick-nack collections as well (see clutter above). The buyers have got to be able to mentally move in your space. If your space has so much personalized entities in it...they will have a hard time doing so. Remember this...you are trying to appeal to as many people as possible...plus, you get the added benefit of begining the packing process :).
#5.Stage the house to show how rooms are supposed to be used...  A bit of this would speak to "clutter" as well. Maybe you have not minded walking around that table for x years. If the room is cluttered with furniture, it will make the room look smaller than it is. If removal of a couple of pieces of furniture will make a dramatic difference, than do so. If there is an odd room that seems to have no true purpose, give it one.

#6 Make the property Easy to show...  It is a must. If you cancel appointments, the word will soon get out and showings will drop to rock bottom. Your agent might fire you. Your home will become stygmatized, which is bad...very bad.
#7 Remove the pets...  the sweetest dog in the world bit the fire out of one of the agents showing one of my listing. Thank goodness it didn't break the skin and she was okay with it. On another note, there is nothing more distracting than having a kenneled pooch barking the entire time you are trying to show  property. Heck, Fido is just doing his job... which is keeping out intruders...so why are you going to let Fido drive buyers out of your relaxing home? In addition, pets WILL have odors...bring in a test nose to sniff...
#8 Make sure your listing is on all the major online portals... this should be a no brainer, but it is true. There are however some "pitches" out there that state " we send our listings to over 100 online portals". I guess it is okay to have your home for sale advertised right next to someone's garden tractor for sale, but I just am not convinced that you are going to find a serious buyer there. I'm a little more about quality than quantity.
#7 Insure that the listing has good quality photos, and lots of them... Couldn't agree more. With 90% of people begining on the web, few photos are going to hint that there is something to hide, poor quality photos are almost as bad. I recently saw a photo of a property that was actually a picture of a computer monitor showing a picture of the boat dock... wow, what an effort on the part of that agent!! I take lots of photos, but then take even more for the visualtour and then stich many together so the visualtour will look like a video... 
#8 Share information about life in the neighborhood...  If your neighborhood has something special about it or has special amenities included, is walkable, is close to conveniences... you need to make certain your agent is aware of these things.

Well, I was moving from major heading to major heading, and I got 8 tips...so I am guessing that they counted "declutter" and "depersonalize" as minor roles in the play. Good tips, nonetheless...