As first-time home-sellers, my wife and I had no idea how much work selling a house would take. Of course, we could have just listed the house as it was, but we might not get the best offer, and we’d risk our house sitting on the market for a longer period of time than it should.

After meeting with our real estate agent, we had a list of tasks to complete in order to sell our house quickly and at top dollar. Here's what we did to make sure our home sold well, and what you can do to get your house ready to sell for good money, too:

1. Give Your Curb Appeal an Upgrade

The first thing a potential buyer will see is your front yard and your home’s exterior.

First impressions are huge, so it makes sense to freshen up these areas when selling a house.

We pressure-washed our driveway and sidewalks, put fresh mulch in our flower beds, and bought a few flowers to spruce up the curb appeal. We even repainted the front door, which is a cheap and easy way to make your house stand out. Our house looked amazing afterward. You may want to consider doing the same when you get your house ready to sell.

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I just sold my house and these 5 important steps to get your house ready to sell is very effective! You should read this one too! Thanks for pinning!2. Fresh Paint

Our house had five main rooms that had never been painted in the 12 years it had existed. The walls still had the builder-grade flat white paint on them. They definitely needed some sprucing up, so we painted the walls in the three bedrooms and two bathrooms the same color as the adjacent living area – a neutral beige.

Our real estate agent said that a house shows best if the whole house is the same neutral color. Why? It makes the home look larger. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to make that a reality, but our whole house only had two neutral colors throughout.

3. Declutter

 Decluttering your home takes a lot of work, but it has a huge payoff. You may have some rooms that are a bit crowded, but they function for you. Unfortunately, buyers don't want to live in your home the way you do. You need to make your home look open so that buyers can imagine their own families living in it.

Normally, I hate the idea of paying for a storage unit. However, this is one time when I feel that it's worth the cost. Remove bulky furniture and declutter rooms to make your home look open. Less is often better than more when you're selling a house. If you're selling a higher-end home, you may want to ask your agent if staging is something worth considering. It wasn't worth the cost for our price point, though.

4. Clean Your House More Than You Ever Have Before

We try to keep our house clean. Really, we do. But if I'm being honest, I knew our house needed a deep clean. We wanted to make our house spotless so that potential buyers would see how beautiful it was, rather than focusing on the fingerprints on the sliding glass door.

So we cleaned high and low. We dusted our ceiling fans, cleaned every window, and even paid professionals to clean the carpet in the bedrooms and the tile in the bathrooms. It made such a huge difference. I couldn't believe how amazing our house looked after the deep clean.

5. Get Awesome Photos

If you want to get your house ready to sell quickly and at top dollar, you need amazing photos.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I think it's worth even more when you’re selling a house.

I always look at pictures before reading anything about a real estate listing, and great photos stand out.

Most real estate agents have an outdated camera or use their cell phone for listing photos. Luckily, my wife does professional photography as a side hustle and was able to take amazing, professional-quality pictures. Our real estate agent even said that some of them looked like they came out of a magazine. When you have awesome pictures, more people will want to come see your house, which gives you even more chances for someone to fall in love with it and make an offer you can't refuse.

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But Remember: Real Estate is Local

Keep in mind that these were the things that my wife and I did to make our specific home more marketable. Make sure you meet with your local real estate agent before you spend any money to get your house ready to sell. Where my home was lacking, your home may be awesome – or vice versa. Just make sure that you ask what you can do to make the process go more smoothly. You won't regret it.