Don't Cut These Corners When Selling Your Home

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A person's home is their kingdom, or at least in some ways, a physical representation of who they are inside. We tell a lot about ourselves in how we create our surroundings — one person hides all their action figures in a den, while another goes for whole-hog minimalism out in the open. Visiting a house can be very "what you see is what you get," but selling one is another matter completely.

Washington Post columnist Kathy Orton recently shared a list of don'ts for putting your home on the market. While they're all common, some seem fairly obvious. For example, make sure you post good photos of a nicely staged living space. Others, however, have more to do with transparency, and owning up to what you've really got on offer.

When you want to get a property off your hands, it might seem tempting to rely on quick tricks, like gaming the color of your walls or your listing timetable. You really need to put in the work to get your home up to snuff, though. That means repairing anything that's broken or unsightly, staying realistic about what you're likely to get for the property, being honest about what's wrong with the place, and understanding your own budget as a seller.

Millennials are actually pretty eager to stay put, once we buy a home. The incredible hassle of finding the right one makes it tempting to offload our old problems onto the next set of owners. You'll be doing yourself and your successors a big favor by sticking with honesty, though. Read Orton's whole column for a full look at why.