Whether you're moving to an upgraded dream home or following a new job, it's reasonable to expect that you want to make the most money possible when selling your home. After all, a home is part living space and part investment. Here are five tips on making the most money selling your home.

Stage Your Home

Homes that sell for the maximum amount need to look wonderful. That means fresh coats of paint - both exterior and interior - upgrades and bright, sparkling cleanliness. Check your home for any signs that might read "disrepair" or "repair necessary later on," like faucet leaks. Clean storage space, basements and attics.

Remember: no area will be off-limits to prospective buyers. Spruce up your garden and yard. Buy a pot of blooming plants or miniature evergreens to place by the front door.

Make Your Home Neutral

Prospective buyers need to visualize themselves living in the space. But they can't do this if part of your home is very specific to you. A basement filled with wood-working equipment, or a room painted in bright, horizontal stripes are signs that a home is too personalized.

For sale purposes, you have to arrange your home to be more neutral. Paint each room a neutral color. Remove signs of your children or pets. (Prospective buyers may have neither, and may associate your house with children or pets only.) Buyers will go for maximum asking prices if the house meets their needs - not (necessarily) yours.

Ask a Reasonable Price

A home priced too low is not going to net you the most money. Neither will one priced too high. It may languish on the market, leaving you still paying the mortgage for months instead of counting your proceeds.

Research the going price of homes in your area. Set a reasonable price. Many realtors recommend going slightly under a reasonable price, too. It sets you up for competing bids, which can raise the price.

Advertise Widely

To generate the most interest, you need to reach the broadest pool of potential buyers. Don't simply advertise locally. Ninety percent of prospective buyers look on the internet, so make sure your home is advertised there.

It's a wise idea to use a professional realtor. They can give you advice on showing your home and making sure it's promoted with the widest possible reach in mind. They are professionals at maximizing sale prices, so don't be tempted to cut costs by trying to sell your home yourself.

Choose the Right Time of Year

Conventional wisdom has long held that the summer months are the best time to sell a house. Families with children like to get them settled and into the swing of a community before school starts. However, research shows that homes sold during the winter and early Spring sell for a bit more and stay on the market for less time.

The time period of selling your home can make a real difference to the price, so research the price trends in your area.

These five tips will ensure that you sell your home for the most money possible.

Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington