3. Show your home in its best light.
Cleaning thoroughly and decluttering are even more important in a market with high inventory and lower prices, because, according to Max Dublin of Century 21 Commonwealth in Cambridge, "now you really have to set yourself apart." Take your realtor's advice on staging, too, Dublin adds, since "some of the simplest things can save so much time and money." Giacalone advises spending up to $10,000 to make repairs before putting your house on the market. "It will show better," he says, "and you can tackle issues in advance that might come up during the inspection." A new boiler might cost $2,500, Giacalone says, but "an ancient one could scare a buyer off." Dublin notes: "Buyers have already decided whether they like the place within the first 10 seconds of walking through the door. First impressions are huge."