There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when he or she realizes: “I am not the same person I was when I bought this place.” Maybe your lifestyle or your family configuration has changed, or maybe the house just isn’t as appealing as it was when you signed that ream of paperwork on closing day.

If you’re thinking about moving on, here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself before listing your house. When you can answer these questions, you’ll know you’re in the right place emotionally and financially to move on to your next space.

What is my home really worth?

You can find almost anything on the internet, and that includes an estimated value of your home. How convenient! But before you try to figure out how much your house is worth on your own, take a deep breath and remind yourself: “I shouldn’t believe everything I read on the internet.”

It’s possible that an automated estimate is going to be very close, but those algorithms depend on data and other information that might or might not be accurate, like the condition of your property, the location, the square footage, any features or amenities you’ve added (or removed), and recent sales of properties nearby that may or may not be comparable to your own home.

Leveraging our wide range of expertise across all aspects of the real estate industry, Advisra will provide you a complimentary market analysis of the most likely selling price range for your property.

We can also explain what repairs or improvements you may want to consider doing before listing the property. Then you can make the decision as to whether or not you want to make any upgrades or take the estimated price as-is.

How can I sell at the highest price possible?

When you’re selling anything, you want to get fair market value for the item you’re releasing, and that’s exponentially truer for your house, which is likely the biggest purchase you’ve ever made.

If you know your neighbor’s house sold for ten figures more than the highest estimate you’ve been able to find for your own home, that can be a tough reality to swallow. But this is where the real estate professionals at Advisra can offer sound advice — they can help explain why that house was so desirable (for example, is your neighbor’s view much nicer than yours), and they can also show you where you do have some room for improvements that might help you obtain a higher selling price.

If you’re not ready to call in a professional, then start with things that can spruce up almost any dwelling. One of the first and most important steps to selling your home for top dollar is to get the place deep-cleaned from floor to ceiling, including washing the windows and scrubbing down all of your kitchen appliances.

Start by attacking the clutter; it’s much easier to clean a room that doesn’t have a lot of furniture or objects in it, so it’s a good idea to start cleaning out the items that you know you don’t want to move with you. If there’s still a lot left, consider a shed or an off-site storage facility where you can stash things without packing it all in your closets (where buyers are most definitely going to be looking). If you have a junk drawer or even a “junk room,” now is the time to start corralling that beast.

Then get cleaning. There’s no detail too small — make sure every room in the house sparkles to the best of your ability and smells fresh and aired-out.

There may be quite a few additional projects you could tackle to increase your home’s value, such as adding a deck or patio, remodeling the kitchen, or even adding entire rooms in some cases. Those are good opportunities to discuss with a real estate professional, who can share feedback about whether the project is going to be worth the eventual return on investment when you sell the home — and what projects will net you more money for your property.

Real estate professionals also know stagers and home photographers. When a buyer falls in love with your home, it’s most likely going to be from an online listing, so your listing photos should be as high-quality as possible.

How long will my home be on the market?

No one can predict the future, but experts who work in the industry can usually come close. Ultimately, it depends on what the housing market is like in your area, but there are a lot of anomalies within a housing market. Even in markets that seem red-hot, a house in one price range may sell more quickly than properties in a different price range. And there are some neighborhoods or even specific blocks where buyers seem to be willing to do just about anything to get their foot in the door — and other geographies where they might need to be lured in a little more aggressively.

The number of days that properties stay on the market gets shorter and shorter as a housing market heats up, but that number is absolutely contingent on the initial list price. Properties that need to reduce their prices to attract qualified buyers will remain on the market significantly longer than homes priced competitively from the start. It’s important to get the initial list price right if you’d like the home to sell quickly.

Even in markets where houses seem to be flying off the shelves, it’s smart to talk to someone who sees those sales up close and personal every day. They can give you an educated estimate about the amount of time it should take your property to get from list to close.

How can a real estate professional help?

Selling a home is a huge life event that encroaches on just about every aspect of your existence, from your meals to your work schedule to how often you do laundry and clean. It can be an incredibly stressful time. An Advisra sales professional can be your personal advisor, and give you the information you need to make the best decisions possible while keeping track of all the details.

A good real estate professional will help you find the best price for your home, list it for you on the MLS, and handle all the marketing — from photos to open houses to online marketing and more. A good Realtor can manage your showing schedule for buyers who want personal tours and can help you decide which offer to accept if you happen to receive more than one … and a licensed real estate professional is absolutely essential during the negotiation process, especially if the buyer is making demands that the seller isn’t prepared to address.

A knowledgeable real estate professional will help you manage the transaction timeline, alerting you when an inspection or appraisal is about to happen and keeping you in the loop regarding financing and every other aspect of the deal.

A good real estate professional can also help you do all of this while you’re simultaneously looking for a new place to live and can help you manage that, too — including what to do if you find a home before your current house sells.

Selling a home is typically not as simple as listing it on the MLS and waiting for an appropriate offer to come in — there’s often a lot more involved that most sellers do not want to handle it on their own. Answering these questions will get you a head start, but don’t skip talking to a real estate professional from Advisra when you’re actually ready to list your home.