As a homeowner, you can play an important part in the timely sale of your property. When you take the following steps, you'll help your RE/MAX Sales Associate sell your home faster, at the best possible price.

1. Make the Most of that First Impression
A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch welcome prospects. So does a freshly painted - or at least freshly scrubbed - front door. If it's autumn, rake the leaves. If it's winter, shovel the walkways. The fewer obstacles there are between prospects and the true appeal of your home, the better.

2. Invest a Few Hours for Future Dividends
Here is your chance to clean up in real estate. Clean up the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor redecoration. Fresh wallpaper adds charm and value to your property. If you're worried about time, hire professional cleaners or painters to get your house ready. Remember, prospects would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look "with a little work." Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks, suggest faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs, or faulty wiring would leave prospects in the dark. Don't let little problems detract from what's right with your home. Find a plumber, electrician or general contractor to help.

3. Don't Shut Out a Sale
If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a prospect's mind. Don't try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily plane them away. A little effort on your part can smooth the way toward a closing.

4. Think Safety
Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller skates on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low hanging overhead lights. Make your residence as non-perilous as possible for uninitiated visitors.

5. Make Room for Space
Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They're looking for storage space, too. Make sure your attic and basement are clean and free of unnecessary items. The better organized a closet, the larger it appears. Now is the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity.

6. Make Your Bathroom Sparkle
Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, display your best
towels, mats, and shower curtains.

7. Create Dream Bedrooms
Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms. For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colorful bedspreads and fresh curtains are a must.

8. Open up in the Daytime
Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes so prospects can see how bright and cheery your home is.

9. Lighten up at Night
Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights - both inside and outside – when showing your home in the evening. Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.

10. Avoid Crowd Scenes
Potential buyers often feel like intruders when they enter a home filled with people. Rather than giving your house the attention it deserves, they're likely to hurry through. Keep the company present to a minimum.

11. Watch Your Pets
Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you're showing your home. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. So do everybody a favor: Keep Kitty and Spot outside, or at least out of the way.

12. Think Volume
Rock-and-roll will never die. But it might kill a real estate transaction. When it's time to show.

From: RE/MAX Crest Realty Westside, Vancouver, BC Canada.

Katayoon Webb, Your friendly realtor