Spring has always been the best time of year to sell your home. In these tough economic times, sellers are facing more competition than ever before. Preparing your home for sale has never been more important. If a buyer has a multitude of houses that meet their needs, they are going to choose the one with the least amount of work required once they move in. Making a great first impression is imperative.

Start the process by doing a thorough, impartial assessment of your home from the point of view of a buyer. Here are some simple steps to increase the appeal and chances of quickly selling your home.

1. Clean up your landscaping. Curb appeal increases the chances of getting those buyers in the door. Trim bushes, prune trees, and spruce up your flower beds. Potted plants are also a very nice touch.
2. Freshen up the front door. Nothing makes a better first impression. A fresh coat of paint or stain on the door and the frame are a must. Clean the light fixtures, polish the hardware and lay down a new welcome mat.
3. Paint the interior walls and trim work. Nothing says move-in ready like a fresh, clean, coat of paint. Keep it neutral!
4. De-clutter the rooms. Eliminate extra furnishings and collectibles. Make the home neutral enough that buyers can envision their belongings in your house. Remove everything you can from countertops to make the spaces appear larger.
5. Get rid of excess items in your key storage areas. Invest in some great organization systems for your closets and garages and basements. Keep as many items out of view as possible and keep the rest as organized as you can.
6. Flooring is extremely important in first impressions. Hardwood floors are a huge selling point, but make sure they are in good condition. Replace worn carpets, old area rugs and outdated tile floors, especially in bathrooms and kitchens.
7. The little things need a lot of attention. Repair any leaks, holes, cracks, or items that are not working properly.
8. Old appliances should be replaced, including heating, cooling and hot water tanks. Kitchen appliances should match and be in good repair. Buyers will not want to make these investments right off the bat.

Despite very difficult economic times, homes are selling. Pricing remains the most important factor when listing your home. However, following these recommendations can be the difference in you obtaining a quick offer and sale of your home. As an added bonus, it is still a great time to be a buyer, so you can expect to get a great deal on the next home you are purchasing.