If you think you'll soon be putting your home on the market, there are a few things you can do to help get a better price for your home while reducing the amount of time it takes to be sold.

Shane Whitteker is a broker at State College mortgage company Principle Home Mortgage, where they specialize in helping their clients through each step of the mortgage process.

We asked Shane what tips he had to help people get the best possible price for their home, while also keeping days on market under control. The ideas he shared are within reach for people with budgets of all sizes. Selling your home - whether you're in central Pennsylvania or anywhere else - is all about appearances.

"You are competing with many other homes which are also for sale," Whitteker says. "It makes it really important to have the basics down - think about what you'd look for in a new home. Cleanliness is at the top of that list."

First impressions go a long way

Curb appeal is important, as it is what will form the initial impression in the minds of your prospective buyers. A well-kept look from the outside will not necessarily improve the appraised value of your home directly, but it will have an impact on the perspective of the appraiser when you sell.

The most important thing though is it will leave a lasting impression with potential buyers.

“You want to catch the eye of prospective buyers, and curb appeal does exactly that,” Whitteker says. “In competitive markets like State College especially, homes that look good from the street sell much more quickly and pull a higher premium price.”

Call in an expert

Your home is most likely one of the largest sales you’ll make in your lifetime. Sometimes it pays to call in someone whose job it is to make your house look the best it can. Enter the staging consultant.

“Staging consultants can be a really great asset to have when you’re trying to sell your house,” Whitteker says. “They’ll come in to your home and set it up to be more appealing to the eye of prospective buyers. They know all the little tricks and techniques that should help get your home sold for top dollar and on time.”

In State College, Whitteker recommends staging expert Jessica Dolan, owner of Room to Breathe.

A little focus can yield big results

All home improvements are not created equally. It can pay to focus on high-reward areas of the home, which time has shown to be favorites of most buyers.

“When doing home improvements focus on the kitchen, bathrooms and master bedroom,” Whitteker says. “These areas of the home provide the most return on dollars invested.”

Keep it clean

No one likes dirty house. Especially when they are looking at a home to purchase. Roll up your sleeves and get to work, or hire a cleaning crew to come in and do it for you.

Principle Home Mortgage services clients across central Pennsylvania, an area that includes State College, Williamsport and Altoona. To learn more about how they help their clients through every step of the mortgage process, contact them at their State College office today.