Liven Up the LandscapingNot only does good landscaping give you the highest return on your money, but it also can literally transform the exterior look and feel of your home. Hire a landscaper to do the job, or do it yourself for some old-fashioned sweat equity. Either way, be sure to turn your front yard into a colorful, floral oasis.
Enhance Your Exterior EntrywayMake your front door the centerpiece of your home's curb appeal. Repaint it a striking, tasteful color, or sand it down and stain it for an antique, weathered look. Finish the look with updated lights, potted plants on either side of the door and a new, high-end knocker and handle.
Have a Welcoming WalkwayThe front walkway is essential to drawing the buyer in the door, so it's got to pop. You'll get points with buyers for installing a high-end material such as brick pavers. If your pathway is curved, accentuate the movement by lining it with lights or flowering plants.
Freshen the FoyerWhat do people see first when they enter your home? Consider that the foyer is the first impression of your home's interior, so make sure it doesn't block the line of sight to any marketable rooms or views. Remove bulky furniture, paint it a neutral color, upgrade the lighting, and have fun with things like high-end entry tile or even marble flooring.
Light It Up RightThe right lighting can make a small home appear larger or a dark home seem sunny and cheery. The wrong lighting can make your home feel dark and dreary. Installing brighter, modern light fixtures not only highlights your home's best features, but the right style of fixtures can also create a more current look.
Neutralize With PaintPaint color is a personal choice, and potential buyers will probably want to customize it for themselves when they move in, but that's no reason not to paint when selling. You are out to showcase your home in its best light, right? Don't fall into the "white or beige" trap, but also avoid rich, dark colors as those don't appeal to everyone. Think about richer colors with wider appeal, and don't forget to focus on the details: window and door trim, baseboards and crown molding.
Update Fixtures, HardwareAvoid major kitchen and bathroom overhauls if you are ready to sell. Instead, highlight the existing good features by tackling small tasks such as updating the lighting and installing new faucets, nozzles, mirrors and cabinet doorknobs. You'll be surprised how big an impression these small, relatively inexpensive updates will make.
Repaint CabinetsReplacing or even refinishing cabinets can be costly and therefore risky if you dump a ton of money into your place right before you sell. A quicker and less expensive way to recoup your costs and still modernize your home is to repaint the cabinets. It's incredible to see how a coat of paint can transform the entire look of your kitchen or bath.
Don't Forget the FlooringFlooring has one of the most dramatic effects on the size and appeal of your home, and you get a great boost in value if you choose the right materials. If you have worn, stained carpet or vinyl flooring, rip it up quickly and replace it with tasteful tile, wood laminate, or, if your market allows, nice hardwood floors.
Create a Backyard OasisWhat do buyer's see when they walk out back? A vacant slab of concrete? A rarely used covered pool? Transform your backyard into an entertaining space, so the buyer can visualize all the good times they'll have out there with neighbors and family. Buy some inexpensive patio furniture, a grill and some potted plants to fill extra space and tie it all together. Install some outdoor lighting as the finishing touch. By the time you're done, you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.