In my experience, many sellers list their home a couple of months before their desired move date, confident that their house will sell quickly and that the closing date will coincide with their grand scheme. But, like everything in life, plans don’t always go as expected!

A quick sale is like the holy grail of real estate. Your realtor benefits, you as the seller don’t have to deal with weeks of showings and stress and let’s face it, homes that stay on the market too long begin to carry a stigma. People begin to wonder what’s wrong with it.

So, when is the best time to list your home?  Traditionally, the fall and spring seasons will see a faster paced market. It’s also the overall health of the economy that affects the broader real estate market and the speed of your sale. But regardless of the timing, what it all really comes down to is proper pricing and smart preparation. Listing your home for fair market value and having it staged for buyers will generally lead to a successful sale.

Your realtor will help you price your home accordingly by looking at similar houses that have recently sold in your neighbourhood or those that are currently on the market.  If you really want to stimulate a fast sale, you could under price your property just a hair below your competition.

Prepare your home. Begin by de-cluttering. If you have a basement full of junk, have it stored off-site during the selling period. Clean and organize closets and remove all personal photos and objects. Paint where it makes sense. Any rooms that are faded or too bright in colour should also be painted in a soft, natural hue.  Touching up baseboards, railings and trim in a white semi-gloss will make it clean and bright.

Consider having your home professionally staged if it is not a service your real estate agent offers and be sure to get your house photographed. Some 84 per cent of people start their real estate search online.

Finally…prepare for showings and open houses. Your house must remain in sparkling condition and be able to be pet and human free at a moment’s notice!