Three easy maintenance tips to keep your house in top selling condition

In a down market, it can be a challenge to get the most value out of your home. Buyers don't have much money to spend, and sellers are often forced to settle for a price that's lower than they'd hoped.

Luckily, things are looking up in Los Angeles. According to The Los Angeles Times, Southern California saw a rise in home prices this summer - the median home price in the Southland rose to over $300,000, according to the source. The growth is expected to continue into 2013, making this a good time to sell your home and get the price you deserve.

If you want to be sure that you get the full value of your real estate in Los Angeles, it's important to make sure your home stays in tip-top condition. Here are a few easy maintenance tips to make sure you get every penny you deserve out of your Los Angeles real estate investment.

Take care of your roof
Many homeowners overlook their roofs because they envision potential buyers making their way through the interior rooms, not spending time staring at the facade. However, a roof with missing shingles or poorly-kept tiles and gutters can signal a house with much larger internal problems.

Different types of roofing have different lifespans and show wear differently. Before you put your home on the market, have a licensed roofer inspect your home and ensure that everything is in good condition before you allow potential buyers to take a look.

While you're working on the roof, consider other important outdoor fixtures - like the driveway and deck or pool, if you have one. All of your home's components should be in great condition and well maintained. Beware of cracks, even if they're harmless - they can be a big turn-off for home shoppers.

Don't neglect the landscaping
Even the most beautiful home on the block can look ugly and unkempt if the landscaping isn't well taken care of. Overgrown grass and dead flowers make a home look abandoned and unloved.

Be sure that your home has the curb appeal you bought it for by taking care to mow your lawn each week, water your flowers and pull the weeds. Don't let grass and plants grow over your walkways, and if your green thumb doesn't quite pull through, be sure to replace any wilted flowers with new ones (like perennials, which will last for several years) that can blossom and add color and life to your yard.

Check the paint
Both interior and exterior paint can wear and chip, and it's easy not to notice when it's a room or wall you pass every day. However, potential homebuyers will spot cracks and wear in paint quickly, so inspect your own home like a buyer would and fix any issue areas before showing the home.

Save yourself a lot of trouble by repainting rooms whenever the colors seem dim, worn or dated, and be sure to clean up messes right away to prevent staining. You may also want to have your home inspected so you can seal up any areas where water might be leaking in and damaging your interior decor.