As a seller, you want to get as much as possible for your home. What are the things you can do to increase its value?

The best place to start is to put yourself in the buyer's shoes, think of what may be important to you if you were buying another home? Would you buy a dirty house? How about the one with the doors falling off? Perhaps the one with the cracked foundation? You see, if you wouldn’t want to buy a house that looks unkept or in poor repair, why would anyone else?  Having this in mind, you must take a good look at your home and decide which projects you are able to tackle.

If your home is outdated or needs repairs, but you are working with a limited budget, it will be very important to choose the projects that are the most important in the eyes of the buyer, and are within your means.

The most important things you need to take care of are the repairs. If your roof is leaking, don’t paint the ceilings - fix the roof. On the list of priorities are: roof, windows and doors, siding and brick, and structural elements including the basement walls. These projects need to be done by professionals and you should always try to get a transferable warranty.

Buyers are more likely to buy a home that is in good repair, rather than one that looks good but has a leaky basement. Once they spot small problems, they are more likely to lower their offer, or even to walk away.

If your home is in good state of repair, you can then consider updating it to more modern standards.

The kitchen is the most important room in the house and as such, needs to be dealt with a lot of attention. Cutting corners here means you will be throwing your money out the window. On the other hand overspending will be equally bad. It is very important to not only employ a qualified contractor, but more so, a designer who will ensure that your kitchen is functional and looks great.. When done right, this project will get you the most return.

Bathrooms are next on the list of importance. Again, this is a project for a professional. Everything counts here - floor, wall tiles, fixtures, quality of work. Buyers will examine everything thoroughly, make no mistake about that.

Floors are mostly a matter of personal preference. The most important thing to remember here is that if you are updating a kitchen or a bathroom, floors should be done first. Most buyers expect ceramic tiles but other types of flooring like hardwood or cork will be equally appreciated. Laminate flooring is not an upgrade and you should not expect a return of investment here, however, well done flooring will contribute to a quicker sale. Carpet is the least desirable choice for flooring, but don’t rush in with the replacement unless it is in bad shape, your best option is to have it professionally cleaned.

Painting is the most affordable way of improving your home’s appearance. Ensure that all dents and holes are repaired properly before painting. Dark or bright colours are not desirable, so make sure to repaint these. If you have wall paper or panelling - take it down, especially wall paper - it is too personal and buyers don’t appreciate it.

By now, you should have tackled one of the biggest, yet least expensive projects - decluttering. Think of it this way; you are moving anyway, why not pack sooner rather than later? As a general rule, if there are more than five pieces of furniture in the room, get rid of it. Removing as much stuff as possible will allow buyers to see the space in your home, but also will make your move a lot easier.

And finally - clean, clean, clean. Focus on rarely-cleaned areas, baseboards, windows, blinds, light fixtures, vents, behind furniture and appliances - every dark corner of your home must be cleaned. This is the best way to increase the value of your home without spending a fortune.

And when it’s all done, take a deep breath… Oh, wait a minute, what’s that smell? Every house has it, even though you may not be able to detect it, buyers will. Fortunately, this is an easy one to deal with once you have done all your cleaning, keep the air flowing and use baking soda in places where smell lingers. Pets and smoking are the biggest causes of an unwanted smell in the house, and will cost you the most if you can’t keep it outside.

And what about the outside? Buyers will drive by every property they are interested in so some landscaping will go a long way here. It may be a deciding factor if they want to set foot in the door, or just keep on driving. Cut and water the grass, trim the hedges, get rid of the weeds and mulch the flower beds. There is no need to spend a lot of money here.

All of this may sound very simple, but reality is always a bit more complicated. There is no template you can follow - your home, however similar to some, is unique and so will be the buyer. That’s why the best investment you can make is to consult with your Realtor. He/she will assess your property and advise you on what to do and what not to do to get the most money for your property.

You can request a FREE consultation by calling 519-778-0737 or emailing