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Below is an excerpt from an article I found on Homegain.com. When you are getting ready to sell your house, there are some key improvements you can make, that will often give you a greater Return on Investment. You don't have to spend tens of thousands of dollars in most cases. A few hundred dollars can go a long way.
These Do It Yourself improvements may be the way to go.
National Home Improvement Survey Results
HomeGain.com announced today that it has released the results of its nationwide home improvement and home staging survey. Past findings from the survey have been a guide for thousands of home sellers in preparing their homes for sale.
HomeGain recently surveyed nearly 500 real estate agents nationwide to determine the top 10 low cost*, do-it-yourself home improvements for people getting their home ready to sell.
Definitions of Home Improvement categories:
Cleaning and de-cluttering: Remove personal items; wash and clean all areas of inside and outside of house; freshen air; remove clutter from furniture, counters and all areas of the home; organize closets; polish woodwork and mirrors.
Home staging: Add fresh flowers; removing personal items; reduce clutter; rearrange furniture; add new props or furniture to enhance room/s; play soft music; hang artwork in walls.
Lightening and brightening: Open windows; clean windows and skylights inside and outside; replace old curtains or removing curtains; remove other obstacles from windows blocking light; repair lighting fixtures; make sure window open easily.
Landscaping: Front and back yards; add bark mulch; rake and remove leaves, branches and debris; plant bushes and flowers; add planters and hanging plants; mow grass; water lawn and plants; remov weeds and dead plants; manicure existing plants; any yardwork that improves the curb appeal of a home.
Repair Plumbing: Update leaky or old faucet spouts and handles; repair leaks under bathroom or kitchen sinks; laundry room pipes; toilets should be in good working condition; remove mildew stains.
Update electrical: Update electrical with new wiring for modern appliances and/or Internet and other audio/visual equipment requested in homes today; door bell should work; service sprinkler systems; fix lights and outlets that do not turn on; replace old plug points with new safety fixtures.
Replacing or shampooing carpets: Steam carpet thoroughly; replace worn carpet; securing carpets to floor; eliminate creaks in floors under carpets by driving nails into creaky area (through carpet).
Painting interior walls: Fresh coat of paint in rooms throughout the house; remove dated wallpaper; whitewash dark paneling; paint front door; have leaks repaired and watermarks covered.
Repair damaged floors: Patch, repair or replace hard wood floors; clean and wax linoleum; replace missing tiles; re-grout tile floors; eliminate creaks in floors.
-pdate kitchen: Updating moderately priced appliances like microwaves, dishwashers, stoves; repair damaged counter tops; fixing cupboard doors; repairing broken shelving or pantry; fix hardware like doorknobs and cabinet handles; repair any water damaged surfaces or areas; garbage disposal should work properly; retouching with paint if needed.
Paint outside of home: Fresh coat of paint around exterior of home and garage; paint shutters; paint window ledges; repairing damages to chimney; paint or re-stain fence.
Update bathroom/s: Update moderately priced bathroom fixtures; sink; toilets should function properly; fix leaky faucets; repair shelving and towel racks; add new towels and mats; repair vanities and mirrors; clean sliding glass shower doors; replace shower curtains; re-grouting tiling.
The complete article can be found at : http://blog.homegain.com/home-improvement-surveys/homegain-2012-national-home-improvement-survey-results/