Selling a home quickly often means selling your home for less than it’s worth — but that doesn’t have to be the case. The longer a home sits on the market, the more value it loses. The listing gets fewer eyes on it, and some buyers will be turned off by a home that’s been sitting on the market, seemingly untouched, for a month or more. There are a few moves you can make early on to make sure your home sells fast, without selling for cheap.


Know the Value

Your home’s appraised value might not be its market value, which is subject to change by year or even by month. Nationwide, the number of homes on the market is at a 20-year low, which is pushing up the median home value in areas feeling the pinch. Another huge factor impacting your home’s value is its location within the city, where even a few blocks can make a difference.


Boost Curb Appeal

Make a good first impression on potential buyers by tidying up your lawn and exterior before showings begin. Consider simple changes, such as replacing the exterior lighting, mailbox, or house numbers, or even repainting the front door to breathe new life into a worn exterior. Do a quick check for chipped paint, dirty siding, or torn screens, and repair or replace them before a showing. Landscaping can also trigger a real sense of home for some buyers, so take the time to mow the lawn and edge the sidewalks, even if you won’t be living there to enjoy it. Adding potted plant to the entryway, or adding window boxes, will make the place feel homier and more approachable to potential buyers without requiring long-term maintenance — which could be another turnoff to home shoppers.


Use Professional Photos

Don’t take photos until your house is in pristine condition, and that means clearing the clutter from the counters and repainting the scuffed or dirty walls. With so much of today’s home search process taking place online, well-lit high-resolution photos are more important than ever in making sure your listing gets attention. A recent report from Redfin found that houses listed with DSLR photos sold significantly faster — and for more — than those listed with cellphone or point-and-shoot camera pictures. Even if you have a DSLR, consider hiring a professional with a talent from framing, staging, and lighting photos to make sure people see how beautiful your home can be.


Have an Open House

Open houses get more people through your door than showings by appointment only. Why? Because when buyers need to set an appointment, it feels like an obligation. They need to already be fairly serious about your home before meeting one-on-one to see it and discuss the details. With an open house, people can come and go as they please and don’t feel like they’ll be under any pressure. Advertise it well, because the more people walk through your front door, the higher the chance you’ve found your buyer. Also try to be elsewhere during the open house, and have someone else speak with the guests. Potential buyers can often feel stifled by the presence of the current owner, leading them to ask fewer questions and be less open about their interest in the home.


Work with an Agent

All of the research in the world can’t replace the knowledge of an experienced real estate agent. They have local housing market insights that will help you appropriately price the home, and they have a network to tap into to find interested buyers. Plus, they’ve been through the home purchase process innumerable times, so you’ll always have someone to turn to when faced with intimidating paperwork or unfamiliar terms.


Selling your home quickly not only saves you precious time — it can also save you money. Follow the above steps and work with a professional to sell your home fast and for every penny it’s worth.


Lizzy Manthe, a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO is a guest blogger who frequently covers housing-related issues, including advice to help people find their best city.