Installing a new roof is not the most economical thing to do before you buy your home, but sometimes it's the only option. If your roof is nearing the end of its life, you should definitely think about replacing it before selling your home. If your roof leaks, you should fix the leak before putting your home on the market. Potential buyers are almost always scared away by roof leaks.
Some key things to look for when determining if your roof is in good shape:
Check for rotting wood at the eaves and underneath the gutters.
Inspect the ceilings in your house to see if you can see in watermarks from the roof or other leaks.
Hold a garage sale to help de-clutter.
Inspect the attic space to see if there is any rotted wood or wet spots underneath the roof.
Visually inspect the roof for spots that may "dip in" and if you can, take a walk around your roof to see if the plywood underneath your shingles is soft or if it's hard and firm.
The landscaping around your home should be cleaned up before putting your home on the market. It's a simple thing that can certainly add a lot of value when selling your home.
Pull all weeds and any dead bushes or trees.
Trim up the trees around the house to remove any low hanging branches.
Remove weeds from fence lines and treat the yard for any weeds.
Put out some fresh mulch and/or rocks depending on your landscaping.
Put some potted flowers on your front porch, it will really brighten things up.
Inspect all of your exterior decks to see if they are in need of being power washed and stained. If it's been a couple of years, you might want to break out the power washer and head to your favorite hardware store to buy some stain. A freshly stained deck can really make the outside space of your home pop and encourage the prospective buyer to imagine himself in their new home.
The exterior of your home
If your home is vinyl, a simple power washing will usually suffice in making it look like new. Sometimes you'll need to replace broken pieces of vinyl, but other than that you've got it pretty easy. If your home is paintable, you'll want to assess if it needs a new coat of paint. A brighter off-white color can really make your home stand out and look updated. Make sure to use really good exterior paint as it can really make a difference when the paint dries.
You might also want to power wash your garage door and fence if an inspection deems it necessary. Again, a quick thing that can really make a big difference when the prospective buyer looks at your home.
Drainage, Drainage, and drainage
When selling your home, its important to make sure that all of the water is draining away from the foundation. Inspect all of your downspouts to make sure the water isn't running back into the foundation. You can extend your downspouts with an inexpensive extender from your favorite home improvement store if necessary.
Other times it may be necessary to install drainage tiles around the areas of the house where the negative grade is located. You can transport the water away from the house with the drain and keep your foundation dry.
Inspect underneath your decks. This is a typical area where the average homeowner doesn't ever look and it many times comes up on inspections. If you have water running into your crawl or foundation underneath your deck, make sure to get backfill dirt in if it's accessible. Also, if you have a crawlspace, carefully inspect the areas where the decks run into the foundation for possible issues like sinking or cracked foundation.
If you see a sinking foundation, make sure to call a capable foundation contractor. It's important to get their opinion BEFORE you list your house for sale. Otherwise, you might end up losing a sale because of foundation issues.
If you have a leaky basement, a quick trick to try is to simply install road rubber roofing along the outside of the house where the water seems to come into the basement. Attach the road rubber roofing to the foundation and run it out about 4 feet from the house to prevent water from leaking into the basement. Cover the road rubber roofing with mulch or rocks to hide it.