Although real estate experts contend we are in a seller’s market, homeowners who are planning to sell should still prepare their homes for showing in the best possible light.

“We are finding many of today’s buyers want a move-in ready house and will quickly walk away from a good property because they see too many flaws,” Julie Jalone wrote in “Five Steps to Sell Your Home,” published May 4 on

According to Jalone, following these five steps before putting a home on the market will increase the likelihood of sellers getting their asking price and selling quicker.

1. Reduce clutter — Jalone suggests clearing the kitchen counter, the closets, and installing closet organizers to maximize space. Make room by putting larger pieces of furniture such as entertainment centers and televisions in storage. Depersonalize the home by removing family photos, knickknacks, and art. “Store the items you have packed offsite or in boxes neatly arranged in your garage or basement,” she suggested.

2. Home inspection — The seller should have the home checked by a licensed home inspector before putting the home on the market. That way, any necessary repairs, and replacements can be taken care of prior to the buyer’s inspection. “A home inspection will typically cost between $300 and $400, and you will know about issues which may make buyers walk away,” Jalone wrote.

3. Make repairs — In addition to repairs suggested from the inspector’s report, sellers should also make smaller repairs like mending torn screens and sticky doors. Jalone wrote that although these may seem small, if not fixed, they will lead buyers to believe the home has not been maintained well.

4. Replacement estimates — Sellers should get estimates for any repairs that they cannot afford to make. “This will assist buyers in understanding the cost to make the repair or replacement,” Jalone wrote.

5. Cleaning — Make sure windows, floors and baseboards, carpeting, and light fixtures are clean and free of dust. According to Jalone, a clean house without odors is the best first impression you can make with buyers.