Best ways to boost your home's value
GET YOUR HOME Q-TIP CLEAN that means wiping along the baseboards and windowsills as well as around the faucets and switch plates. You'll also want to get rid of odors, including those of pets, mildew, cigarettes, and cooking. " If we can smell it, we can't sell it," says Barb Schwarz founder of stagedhomes.com.
SPRUCE UP THE YARD Trim shrubs from the top down, and round them off at window level. If needed remove dead plants and buy inexpensive replacements.
DECLUTTER, DECLUTTER Say goodbye to knickknacks, family photos, refrigerator magnets-- and your husband's prized collection of Star Wars action figures. "You want buyers to visualize the space in your home, not your stuff,"says home stager Jodi Poliseno of Columbus, OH.
Spend a little
REMOVE OUTDATED WALLPAPER (It's a turnoff, say our pros.) Paint the walls a neutral color. Creams and beiges help a buyer imagine her furniture in the home. And neutrals make rooms look larger. "Strong colors shrink a room by half," saysSchwarz
GET RID OF DATED LIGHTING Reasonably priced fixtures from Target, Lowe's or Home Depot will look best if they're of a consistent style throughout the house.
REGROUT BATHROOM TILE AND REPLACE CAULKING House stagers say that a fresh grout and caulking are almost as appealing as a paint job.
REFINISH YOUR FLOORS Shiny hardwoods can sell a home say our experts. Plan on spending $500 to $1,000 a room. Pricey, yes but a fresh coat of varnish makes the whole room look richer.
INSTALL NEW FAUCETS They can help you instantly update an older kitchen or bathroom.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE GARAGE Make sure the door is in excellent shape; if that's not possible, get a new one. Also, repair any masonry cracks and paint the floor to cover up messy oil stains.