Once you have de-cluttered and gotten rid of your excess 'stuff', it's time to move on to the next step… fixups, updates and painting. You may discover some things that need fixing that you didn't even notice before you cleared out your stuff!
If there is a city inpsection required prior to selling where you live, this is the time to have it done. Some sellers also have their own buyer's inspection done at this point so they aren't surprised by things that turn up in an inspection after getting an offer.
Whether your city requires an inspection or not, the state of Minnesota requires a carbon monoxide alarm within 10 feet of every legal sleeping room so this is the time to get that taken care of as well… Carbon monoxide alarm requirements for Minnesota, including the little details
If you have an inspection, make that the start of your 'to do' list then go through and add to your list room by room… looking at the ceiling, floors, walls, corners, closets, windows and coverings, light fixtures, doors, plumbing, etc with a critical eye. Visualize yourself seeing each room for the first time and note what stands out. This is when you fix those things you planned to fix when you moved in but never got around to it! …and what about removing that wallpaper?! Remember that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes… make them as inviting as possible.
Most people do at least some painting and often some flooring when getting ready to sell. Focus on getting a good, consistent flow of color throughout the house… it can maximize the feeling of spaciousness. This can be a good time for a preliminary meeting with a stager to help with color choices and another eye on what needs to be done to showcase your home to its best advantage.
Finally, don't forget to also look outside… curb appeal includes condition of the property itself, as well as landscaping and accessories. You can prevent a buyer from even coming in the front door if they don't like what they see outside! It sets the stage for what they expect to see inside.