Generally, the idea of selling your home comes with plenty of advanced planning and consideration.

There could be any one or a combination of many reasons that would bring you to that decision. Maybe it’s time to downsize or upsize. Perhaps, it’s simply the right decision financially.

However, there may be an occasion when that move comes suddenly. Possibly it’s a new job that is driving a move to another location.

Either way, it’s always a good idea to keep your home move ready. While there are some things you would do in preparation for a sale, some of the things you would do for selling make your home much more comfortable all the time.

If you’re not certain what those ideas are, here’s a handy guide. Many of these suggestions come from someone who would know what needs to be done to make your home attractive to a prospective buyer – Lisa Baltozer, a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Thomas Group.

Let’s start with the outside. Curb appeal is critical for a home sale. But it’s also nice if your home looks good to you every time you turn into the driveway.

“You can start with fresh mulch, nice flowers and maybe a paint job,” Baltozer said. “If you’re not ready for a paint job, you can try a soft pressure wash.”

She also suggested taking a good look at the roof.

“Depending on the home and how it is situated, the roof can look old,” she said. “You can have it soft washed as well. That can make it appear newer or at least its real age.”

The next step is to take a good look at the inside of your home.

“The keyword here is declutter,” said Baltozer. “You want to be able to walk through and have a nice flow. Also, organize the pantry, linen closet and bedroom closets. They should not be overstuffed.”

If you are preparing for a sale, there are several additional steps.

“You need to depersonalize your home,” she said. “Take down personal  and family photos and diplomas. You should replace them with nice artwork if the walls are bare. You don’t want the buyer to know who you are. You want them looking at your home, not your stuff.”

She also suggests that if you’re not keeping your closets and pantries straight and clean, do it now. Otherwise, a buyer may worry there’s not enough storage space.

You should also make sure countertops are cleared off. Remove as much as you can from the surfaces. That includes decluttering the bathroom.

If you have pets, do as much as you can to minimize their presence.

“Otherwise, you may have a buyer thinking the home is going to smell,” she said.

Of course, two of the most important things you can do before you put your home up for sale is to hire a Realtor and do a pre-listing inspection.

“A pre-listing inspection is vital,” she said, especially if you have not been keeping up with the home. “Little maintenance problems can kill the deal. It’s better to get these things done. That way the home appears to be maintained.”

As far as hiring a Realtor, it can save all the headaches that come with for sale by owner.

“If you get multiple offers, a Realtor can help you determine the best one,” she said. “A seller might just pick highest price. But there may be some backlash. The buyer may be expecting a perfect house. Problems can come with the inspection, and the Realtor can help deal with those. Plus, a Realtor can help you determine a realistic asking price ”

Finally, Baltozer suggests one other important piece – hire a professional photographer.

“Gone are the days when people drive around looking at for sale signs,” she said. “Ninety percent of buyers are looking online first. You have to have amazing photos and even a video tour. They get the buyer to want to look at your home.”

So, the best advice is to keep your home almost sale ready all the time. You will be happier in your home. And then when it is time to sell, you have that much less to do.