In today's real estate climate the first impression is everything. Unfortunately for both buyers and sellers, there are a few impediments that can interrupt a sale.

Even when both parties want to move forward, unforeseen sticking points can appear. Instead of letting these problems ruin a home sale, both sellers and Realtors should ask for a home inspection. This way, there won't be any surprises down the road. 

Everyone involved should put themselves in the other person's shoes. What would they want to see in a home? What concerns are apparent after just a quick walkthrough? These are the areas that should receive attention, and taking care of issues early may result in a flawless sale. 

The appraisal can make or break a sale

Nowadays, a home appraisal can be the difference between shaking hands or walking away. Sellers shouldn't allow for this critical aspect of a real estate transaction to be the breaking point, however, and home preparations and a real estate inspection are key.

An appraiser's job is to confirm the property's value, and that figure may be a deciding factor in a sale, according to MSN Real Estate. One major focus point are comparable homes in the neighborhood, and it might mean trouble if the listed house doesn't stack up. If possible, sellers and Realtors should take tours of other listed homes in the area to get an idea of what upgrades and renovations those owners made, and see what price their homes are listed for. 

Moreover, an uninformed or out-of-town appraiser might place a low value on a property, MSN Real Estate noted. While this is unfortunate, homeowners can take an element of risk out of the equation by being prepared, and getting a home ready ahead of time. They should have a home inspection completed, and fix any problems so potential buyers aren't deterred. 

Don't let a home carry baggage

A property can have baggage just like people can, and any obvious flaws or downsides might be a deciding factor in a sale. Homeowners can prevent baggage from dominating a showing with a few preemptive measures, though.

Several big issues to focus on are bankruptcy, contractor disagreements or bad construction, according to MSN Real Estate. These negatives should be taken care of before hand, and any potential deal-breakers shouldn't be swept under the rug. 

Sometimes, home additions such as sheds, fences or decks are improperly built. In fact, these components may occasionally brush against a property line and create friction between an owner and their neighbors. While this can interrupt a sale, a property inspection can clear up any concerns. 

In addition, some previous owners may have neglected to take the proper legal steps when remodeling. A real estate agent should catch any missing permits, the website noted. Just in case, homeowners should be thorough and double check.

Don't neglect these important features

When selling a home, the owner and Realtor should consider what elements they would want in a new property, and apply this thinking toward the current house for sale. 

Lisa LaPorta, HGTV designer for the TV show Designed to Sell, recommended fixing up a few red flags. For example, having a clean bathroom is a must. Grimy walls and showers will be an instant turn-off for potential buyers, and surface mold is fairly common in homes. Cleaning up these problems, then adding a new coat of paint can transform a bathroom in an instant.

Improving the hardwood floors are a must before a sale as well, LaPorta added. A home inspection can identify any damaged parts, then those sections should be removed and replaced. Additionally, the flooring might need sanding and staining, which can help turn hardwood from a negative into a positive.

Making several quick fixes, and using a property inspection to find any flaws, might make a home sale go off without a hitch.