For many homeowners, the reality of just how many home improvements and repairs need to be made on their property isn’t fully realized until they’re ready to sell it. It’s amazing how you can become so used to living in your home that you don’t see its flaws, or you can put possible improvements on the back burner for so long.

That all changes when you have a real estate agent come over before you put your house on the market, and you start viewing things from the perspective of a potential buyer.

You may find that your list of improvements and repairs is a lot longer than you initially thought, so what should you do if you’re pressed for time?

It’s important to prioritize the things that need to be done before putting your home on the market, particularly if you don’t have the time or money to do all of the updates.

Below are some tips that can help you prioritize your improvements and repairs and make the best possible choices to maximize your time and budget.

Put Safety At the Top of Your List

If there is any place at all you should spend some time and money before you sell your home, it’s those areas where safety can potentially become an issue. Safety-related improvements may not be as glamorous as some of the others on your list, but they’re essential. Consider everything from your smoke and carbon dioxide monitoring systems, to your electrical system. If you find any of these areas need an update or overhaul, put your efforts here first.


Is your roof in terrible condition? What about your pipes or your heating and air system? This is the next thing you should put on your priority list, particularly if you want to get the highest possible price for your home. If you go ahead and take care of these problems before putting your house on the market, you’re going to do yourself quite a few favors. One of them is that you won’t be on pins and needles wondering if your inspection could derail a deal once you have a buyer.

Small Cosmetic Fixes

Once you’ve prioritized the big stuff that includes safety and structural repairs or improvements, the next place to put your attention is on small, inexpensive cosmetic fixes. The real estate company, which specializes in the buying and selling of homes, recommends that homeowners do things like add a fresh coat of paint. This is a cheap, DIY project that can actually have a pretty big impact on buyers.

Think Seasonally

As a final note, if you’re trying to decide which home improvement projects to tackle before selling your home, consider the season. If it’s fall or winter, taking on those landscaping projects or outdoor updates may be less important in the eyes of the buyer, whereas sprucing up the fireplace or kitchen could be on their mind. Alternatively, if you’re planning on selling in the spring or summer, you might want to shift your priority list to include more focus on what’s happening outside your home, such as doing some landscaping or repairing your deck.

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