If you’ve lived in your home for many years, you may be desensitized to its less desirable features. Ask friends, family members or neighbors for their honest opinions on your home. Ask your agent too. What needs work? Are there any major defects worth addressing before selling?
While major renovations might not give you a great ROI, minor repairs and simple cosmetic changes like paint and new hardware can go a long way toward making your home appealing to today’s buyers.
Address Repairs that have been on the To Do list
Do you have repairs that you've been putting off? Now is the time to get them done. Spend a weekend fixing the leaky faucet, repairing the broken fence and/or patching holes.
Declutter and donate
Starting the decluttering process now will save you from the last-minute scramble of getting rid of stuff right before listing. Donate or purge anything you no longer need. You might even consider renting temporary storage space to set aside things you won’t need until after you’ve moved.
Also its a good idea to get some boxes and packing materials to start packing up items you won’t need before you move, like seasonal items.
Get paperwork in order
When it comes time to sell, you’ll need copies of permits for past renovation work, home warranty documentation, land surveys, tax bills and utility bills. Assemble these in advance so you don’t have to go digging around right as you’re preparing to list.
One of the most important pieces of information you’ll need is your mortgage payoff amount. While the final amount will change a bit by the time you’re ready to close, getting an estimated payoff amount — including remaining loan balance, applicable interest and prorated property taxes — can help you determine how much you’ll profit when you sell.
Painting your home a month before listing is the perfect time — the walls will still look freshly painted when your home goes on the market, and you’ve already done some of the packing and moving, so you won’t scratch or damage newly painted walls.
Create curb appeal
The exterior of your home is the first thing buyers see, both online in listing photos and when they see your home in person. Poor curb appeal can even cause a potential buyer to decide it’s not worth coming inside. Improving your curb appeal can be as easy as planting some flowers, edging the lawn, painting the front door, changing outdated hardware or light fixtures, and adding accent lighting.
Do a deep clean
Have your carpets professionally cleaned. And in addition to your regular weekly cleaning, you should clean windows and screens, disinfect bathrooms and polish kitchen appliances.
Don’t forget — you’ll need to clean regularly the whole time your home is on the market, so this isn’t a one-time task. Don’t pack cleaning products in boxes yet, but make sure you can easily tuck them away after you’ve used them each time.