Spring is here in Atlanta, and with it comes peak home-buying season. If you are thinking about selling your home, now is the time to start getting everything in order so that your home will look its best and garner the best possible price.

For most people, their home is the biggest investment they will ever make, so it is important to present it in a way that will be appealing to potential buyers.

Home buyers fall into two major categories — pragmatic and emotional — and you need to appeal to both sides to maximize the return on your investment.

The pragmatic buyer is looking for value, and it is here that you will need to focus on most of the traditional things one does to get a house ready to go on the market. Does your house need a new roof? An updated kitchen? Are basic repairs necessary?

Consult with real estate experts to make the best use of your funds. Not every change that could be made will have a good ROI, so let the professionals guide you through the process.

Of course, it is also important that your home have a deep cleaning and that you declutter as much as possible to make things look tidy. Realizing that you put a lot of yourself into your home, it is important to think about taking some of your personal tastes out of the equation. Funky wall colors? Paint over them with something neutral. Unusual works of art? It may be time to put them in storage.

The goal is get buyers to imagine themselves in the home, so you will need to reduce your own imprint, even if that proves to be a painful process.

The majority of home buyers, particularly for higher-end homes, tend to fall more into the emotional category. They need to be able to see and feel themselves living in your house.

As a hardheaded realist, you will understand this fact and be willing to put some extra money toward luxury staging items. You are not just selling a house. You are also selling a lifestyle, and those fancy extra touches may be just what is needed to close the deal. Items such as bath salts, luxurious towels, beautiful accent pieces and artfully arranged décor may be the clinchers for someone looking at your home.

The psychology of home buying is such that people want to aspire to have and be more than they already are. This factor can be clearly seen in the value that people place in brand names over their generic counterparts.

Staging your home correctly can make all the difference in separating your home from the crowd. School will be out soon, and the market will cool. Start now!

Debbie Sonenshine leads the No. 1 Coldwell Banker team (www.SonenshineTeam.com) in Georgia, which provides free, professional home staging to all its home sellers. She can be reached at 404-250-5311 or debbie@sonenshineteam.com.