BUFFALO, N.Y. — It can be tough navigating 2020's hot real estate market.

Before you put your home on the market, make sure you do your own research. Here are some things your realtor knows but may not be telling you.

YOUR HOUSE SMELLS

Smells can be difficult to overcome, even in the tidiest homes. It's a tough conversation to have, one that your realtor may be avoiding. Before you let buyers in your home, ask a friend or a relative who doesn't live there to sniff it out and give you an honest opinion. Does your home smell? What does it smell like? Whether it's pet dander, cigarette smoke or bacteria hiding somewhere: do your best to eliminate any odors before you let your first potential buyer through the door.  

CLEAN UP YOUR STUFF

Home buyers are looking for large, spacious rooms. The fastest and easiest way to achieve that impression without costly renovations is simply to clean up your stuff. Remove all personal items such as family photos and collections of knickknacks. Clear everything off the fridge, tidy up any kids toys and organize the garage. De-cluttering is the fastest and easiest way to make your home look big – no renovations needed.

ALWAYS BE READY

When your home hits the market, make sure you're ready for anything. You never know when your listing agent will bring you a last-minute showing. When you leave the house, make sure you've made the beds, put away the laundry, aired out any food smells, washed and put away the dishes, plumped the pillows on the couch and cleaned up after everyone. 

KNOW WHAT ADDS VALUE

Exterior improvements such as siding, roofing, windows and a new garage door will give you the best return on your investment. Avoid things such as a brand new pool and a chef-style kitchen. 

DON'T SELL IT YOURSELF

You certainly can try to sell it on your own, but would you build your own rocket ship? Depending on your unique situation, enlisting a realtor is a safer option for your family and for your wallet.

DON'T WASTE TIME

This one is for buyers. We only have one life. Do you want to waste it on looking at duplex with old wall-to-wall carpeting? If you walk in the door and know the house isn't going to work for you, don't feel obligated to stay. Move on to the next property. 

At the end of the day, your chapter in your home is coming to an end, and your memories will always be lasting, now it’s up to you to make sure everything is in order for the people looking to start their next chapter.

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