1. Clean / de-clutter - 973% Average Return on Investment: Remove clutter by storing items in basement, attic or friend's home. Rent a storage space or sell excess items, if needed. Keep every room very clean during open homes. Do pre-open house cleanliness inspections.
2. Lighten and brighten - 865% Average Return on Investment: Replace any burnt-out bulbs and use higher wattage bulbs, if possible. Have defective electrical components repaired or replaced. Make sure skylights are clear and keep drapes open during the day.
3. Yard - 426% Average Return on Investment: Store away personal effects from front yard. Hire gardener or landscaper to trim back the overgrowth and maintain yard. Make sure that your lawn has a healthy green appearance.
4. Plumbing and electrical - 260% Average Return on Investment: Consider repairing or replacing any defective plumbing or electrical items in your home. Make sure you have the right person for the job by getting several estimates.
5. Staging - 251% Average Return on Investment: Buy some fresh flowers, live plants and other decorations to liven up the home. Dispose of old furniture or other large items. Consider renting furniture or hiring a staging consultant.
6. Update kitchen and bath - 168% Average Return on Investment: Update kitchen and baths by resurfacing cabinets or painting with neutral color. Replace toilet seats, dated fixtures and drawer/cabinet handles. Freshly caulk and redo grout in counter tops, sinks, tubs and showers.
7. Paint interior - 148% Average Return on Investment: Repair any damaged interior walls by patching all chips, holes and cracks; then touch up or repaint interior walls with neutral color.
8. Carpeting = 104% Average Return on Investment: If carpets are only lightly soiled, shampooing and/or spot removal should suffice. If there are rips, fading, heavy wear, smells or deep stains, replace with neutral color.
9. Flooring - 101% Average Return on Investment: Repair and refinish damaged floors, or cover with neutral-colored wall to wall carpet and note damage in your disclosure.
10. Paint exterior - 76% Average Return on Investment: Repaint or resurface the outside walls of house, as needed. Patch and repair any damaged areas.