Is this an endorsement from the Christian Science Monitor?

1. Stage Your Home

2. Find the right professional

Sometimes you forget the obvious: The best, smartest thing a homeowner can do is find the right real estate agent for them. There are all kinds of pros out there, with all kinds of approaches and personalities. So how do you find the perfect fit? The easiest ways are also free:

  • Get referrals. Obviously, the easiest step is simply to ask friends and family. But be careful, because an agent who did well selling your sister’s fixer-upper isn’t necessarily the best one to sell your four-bedroom raised ranch. Agents can specialize not only in geography but also in price ranges.
  • Go to open houses. In this case, you aren’t checking out the home, but the agent. And don’t fret that you aren’t interested in the house – smart agents know they’re also selling themselves at open houses.
  • Go online. If those first two options aren’t working for you, search sites like and When you find a few agents you might like, check them out online before contacting them. Are their websites professional-looking and inviting? Do they promote their properties well? Then call them. If the conversation goes well, set up a meeting. But remember, you have to feel comfortable, because this individual is helping you sell your most expensive possession.

3. Clean and de-clutter

4. Maximize your home’s curb appeal

5. Invest in a friend

6. Create rooms

7. Paint

8. Bring the outdoors in and take the indoors out

9. Add storage

10. Lights, camera, action!

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