I am often asked for recommendations on how homeowners should spend their money on home improvements before they list their home for sale.
"Do I repaint the house?"
"Should I replace the carpet or refinish the floors?"
It's my personal opinion that if you are planning on selling a house in the near future, you should only focus on the best return on investment and low cost quality improvements that will have the biggest impact on overall appeal. I'm not all about cutting corners, but paint is cheap, and a small purchase like that goes a long way, especially if it's a DIY project. If you tackle this type of project yourself, be sure to take your time and do a good job. Trimming your trees and bushes will improve the appearance of your home, which is the first impression. Imagine as best as you can how your home will look in marketing photos. You will want to do everything on a budget to ensure that it's inviting. Declutter and minimalist your furnishings. Purge or rent a storage unit. Clutter is distracting and it makes a home look small, even the storage areas of the home which are considered selling features. Simple maintainance like caulking and regrouting can also freshen up a bathroom.
When it comes to the big ticket items and deferred maintanance of the major components of a home (roof, furnace, etc.), the cost could outweigh the return, so it's my opinion that these needed repairs and improvements should just be factored into the asking price.
Selling a home is not as much about the price as it is the seller's bottom line. When the time to sell is quickly approaching, invest wisely before preparing to put your house on the market.