While selling your home can be exciting, it can also be a time in which hopes are dashed as your expected financial gain turns out to be a mirage rather than a reality. Preparing to maximize your profits is a wise choice. However, you must do your homework first.

There have been countless people who have trodden the path before us, only to be let down because their approach to selling their home was not advantageous. The following are eight practical steps that you can follow to ensure a maximum return on your investment.

• Advertise – The vast majority of people who see your home will first see it through avenues such as Zillow or Realtor.com. These websites offer you the wonderful advantage of advertising your home to the world.

It is important to take good pictures and a lot of them. Paint your home in a good light, and take the best pictures you can. Many people sell their home without anyone physically coming to see it but rather through the buyer simply seeing the home online.

• Price reasonably – A real estate agent should be able to properly appraise your home for you. Price it reasonably. If you price your home too high, you may eventually sell it. However, you run the risk of first having to drop the price, possibly quite frequently.

This will reflect poorly on your home. People may think they have a lot of leverage in their offer. It also may appear to would-be buyers that your home is flawed.

• Sell in the spring – Selling in the spring is a common trend in the real estate market. It can be harder for people to sell their homes in the winter. People do not usually want to move during the winter, and the pictures of dead grass and trees are less than appealing.

• Seller’s market – Within the market, there can times when the buyer has the advantage (there are more homes for sale than there are buyers). However, times will arise when the seller has the advantage.

Look for times when homes like yours are selling quickly, preferably in less than a month. If you notice this trend, it could be a good time to sell, as there are more buyers out there than there are homes for sale.

• Spruce up the place – Making minor investments of money or time on your home can prove to pay off considerably. Replacing faucets, cleaning up the yard, painting the walls, etc., could be exactly what is needed to convince a would-be buyer.

Another great benefit of making minor fixes and adding new features to your home is that you can advertise that you have done so. This is something that catches the eye of buyers as they search.

• Turn your lights on – As someone comes to see your home, make sure you turn all the lights on. This will illuminate the home and drive away from the darkness and the dreary feeling that comes with poorly lit rooms.

• FSBO – The For Sale By Owner (FSBO) approach is not for all, but if you decide to go this route, you could save a lot of money. Real estate agents typically receive 5-6% of the sales cost on your home. If you cut out the agent, you will pocket the money instead.