Selling your home doesn′t just mean hiring a Realtor to stick a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in the shortest time.

Repair. Just because you’ve gotten used to the cracks in the walls and the rattles in the radiators doesn’t mean a buyer will too. If you have hardwood floors that need refinishing, be sure to get it done—hardwood is a huge selling point. Buyers like to snoop around, so be sure to fix any sticky doors or drawers as well. Finally, don’t forget to address any issues with the exterior—fences, shingles, sidewalks, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers may never get to see the inside.

Neutralize. You want buyers to see themselves being able to live in your home, where their furniture will go, etc., not feeling like they are visiting YOUR home. If your living room has lime green shag carpets, wood-paneled walls, and all your collectibles and personal photographs are hanging around, this will be much harder for them to do. Try replacing any bold color choices in your floors and walls with something more neutral—beige’s, tans, and whites. Repainting and re-flooring will make everything look fresh and new, and help prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.

Stage. Once your house is clean and updated, it’s time to play dress up. Home staging can add small details and décor touches that will bring out the possibilities in the various spaces in your home: lamps, mirrors, throw rugs and pillows, flowers, decorative soaps and towels, patio furniture. Home staging can be particularly useful to get the maximum value for your home in the least amount of time and it’s almost always less than the first price reduction.