1. Update Your Curb Appeal
Image: Laurin Lindsey, Landscape Designer
Curb appeal is important, make sure the bushes are all trimmed. Re-mulch or replace stone walkways and paths. Remove any dead plants and trees, and aerate your lawn so it will be lush come spring. Pressure wash the driveway, the front walk, and the exterior of your home. If need be, have the exterior of the house painted and, at the very least, apply a fresh coat of paint on the front door.
Related: Tips on Aerating for a Lush Lawn in Spring
2. Get a Home Inspection
To avoid nasty surprises once you’re in the process of selling your home, have your own inspection done and make any repairs over the winter months before you list the home. Homebuyers often use flaws and needed repairs to negotiate a lower price.
3. Replace Flooring and Paint Walls
Determine if your carpets need replacing or just a deep, professional cleaning. If they need to go, consider if hardwood or another flooring material might be more appealing to buyers.
You’ll also want to inspect interior rooms for dirty or scuffed walls that need a fresh coat of paint. “Paint the whole wall, don’t just do touch-up repair work, because it never looks as good,” says Modica. Also, if you have eccentric or loud wall colors, now is the perfect time to update to a more neutral palette. Stagers recommend beiges, light grays, and off-whites.
4. Tackle the Basement, Attic, and Garage
Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic
Often overlooked, these storage meccas can become a catch-all for junk. Install shelving, pegboards for tools, and hanging brackets for bicycles and other large sporting equipment. Your goal is to pitch the junk, sell what you no longer need, and categorize the rest.
Donate or recycle clothes and bedding you don’t use anymore in order to free up storage space in your closets, basement, and garage. These areas should look roomy, well-organized, and clean.
Related: Garage Storage Ideas Under $50
5. Consult a Stager
Buyers need to picture themselves living in the house, and they may have trouble doing that if all your personal effects are on display. In order to accomplish that, a professional stager can create a plan for you.
A stager might recommend neutralizing out-of-date decor, removing old furnishings and carpeting, and updating light fixtures.
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