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Jonathan and Drew Scott's tips on how to buy or sell your home like a pro

Whether you’re looking for a new home or saying good-bye to your old one, real estate experts Jonathan and Drew Scott share their guidelines.

Brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott see beyond linoleum floors and chipping paint to help couples transform dingy spaces into their dream homes and help buyers and sellers get the most for their money on their HGTV shows “Property Brothers” and “Buying & Selling.” The brothers — Jonathan’s a contractor and Drew’s a real estate agent — give us their tips for smooth real estate transactions.

Four tips for buying

1. Scope out the scene

Research the neighborhood you're looking in. It's important to know what comparable homes are selling for and the cost of any special features you really want, such as a pool or large backyard.

2. Balance your checkbook

Before even scanning home listings or talking to a broker, get your finances in order. Figure out your income, assets and debt so you know what you can afford.

3. Dream big

Jonathan asks: "This is going to be your dream home, so why not get everything you want?" Make a detailed wish list for your home, including size and features. Then, mark which items you could realistically live without and which are must-haves so you know what's nonnegotiable when you're out with a broker.

4. Don't settle

Don't ignore the fact that your house is next to a train track just because you like a certain feature. Don't ignore anything that could affect resale value.

Four tips for selling

1. Work with the pros

Don't try to do this alone. Use a realtor who knows the community, market value and how to negotiate. You want the best price, after all.

2. Stage it right

When listing your home, make an effort to make it look its best. Declutter, depersonalize, fix any minor repairs and add some lights. "There are many inexpensive things that can make a world of a difference," says Jonathan.

3. Disclose everything

If you're selling your house and you don't disclose a known issue, you're setting yourself up for a lawsuit.

4. Leave emotions aside

It's your home: Of course you think it's worth top-dollar. But keep emotions out when considering an offer -- it's one of the big reasons people lose money in real estate. Remember: Real estate is an investment, and you should make decisions in a business frame of mind.

Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant

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