So you've made the decision to sell your home. Now what happens? Although optional at this point it is often advised that the seller has their home appraised by a professional appraiser. This overall house and property assessment gives the seller, the mortgage company, the real estate agent and the buyer a good idea of what the true home value of your property really is. Here are a couple tips for how to properly prepare your home for an upcoming appraisal:

Give Yourself Enough Time Before Selling Your Home to Do Repairs

The value of your home that is determined by a professional appraisal directly influences the price that your home should/will sell for. It makes sense to order the appraisal before the house goes on the market and is shown to potential buyers. This allows the homeowner plenty of time to make repairs found during the appraisal and complete home improvement upgrades.

Be Sure to Thoroughly Deep Clean Your Home & Get Rid of Clutter

When it comes to selling a home and maximizing price, first impressions really do matter. Take the necessary time and effort to thoroughly deep clean your home. Make sure to get rid of any clutter. This is the time to clean the windows, scour the bathrooms, clean carpets and wax, seal or polish tile or hardwood floors until they are clean and shining. Put away most of your personal belongings. When prospective buyers enter a home for a walk-through, they want to envision the place with their possessions in the house, not yours.

Clean Up the Yard & Spruce Up Your Home's Exterior

Prospective home buyers look for well-kept yards that are attractive and welcoming. Clean up the yard, prune back the shrubs and put a fresh coat of paint on the exterior or pressure wash the siding. Pay attention to gutters and drain spouts. Consider doing some landscaping, because your lawn is the first thing visitors see. Create an enticing porch and entryway that draws visitors right up to your door. Fix any outdoor drainage problems, and clean out storm drains on your property.

Do Those Little Tasks like Painting Walls or Entryway Doors

Nothing makes a house feel neglected and boring like a weather beaten front door with peeling paint, loose door handle and no welcoming embellishments. Consider painting your door a fresh trendy color. Take time to create a relaxing porch or patio where visitors will feel comfortable and relaxed.

Plant some walkway or window box flowers, put up a new mailbox and make sure your window treatments are clean and showcase any outdoor scenic views. Adding an outdoor water or fire feature and repairing the patio tiles can instantly raise your potential home value.

Install Energy Efficient Windows, HVAC Unit & Appliances

Home buyers today look for smart home features and energy saving items. Adding energy efficient windows, upgrading kitchen appliances and replacing that old furnace with a newer model can all go a long way towards getting a serious offer from buyers.

Upgrade Plumbing & Electrical Wiring

If your home is older with its original plumbing and wiring, consider upgrading both to impress agents and prospective buyers. Make sure everything is completed to current codes.

Consider adding a bedroom, expanding the bathrooms, finishing the basement/attic or adding a patio for added square footage that will make your home feel more spacious. Getting a good score on your home appraisal can generate enthusiastic real estate agent and buyer interest.