The only exception will be if you have wallpaper or wood paneling on some walls in rooms throughout the home. In those cases, you might have to take special steps to remove or paint over those areas.
2. Bring the kitchen into the present: To avoid the steep costs of doing a complete kitchen remodel, focus on some of the smaller aspects. If the cabinets look a bit worn or outdated, consider updating them. Two great ways to do this without spending money on a whole new set is to paint the cabinets and replace the knobs. The relative cost of these minor updates versus spending money on new kitchen cabinets should result in a greater return on your investment.
3. Don't curb the yard appeal: While your front lawn doesn't have to be the Garden of Eden, it should complement the house. Make sure the grass is cut with a lawn mower and remove any weeds. If there are patches of dirt or areas without grass, consider planting flower beds or bushes. Trim any bushes or trees to a respectable length. Find a tree-service professional in your area if you're uncomfortable doing this work yourself.
4. Make an impression with the front door: The front door acts like the first impression for the interior. If the door has some wear from years of weathering, apply paint and primer to it for a whole new look. If there are a lot of dents or scratches that paint cannot cover, you will likely need to get a new door. Prices will vary depending on the door's material the door and installation costs.
5. Consider environmental returns: Updating the house to be energy-efficient does not have to mean going all out and putting solar panels on the roof. These can be simple installations such as LED lights throughout the house. In the bathroom, you can install a low-flow shower head and a WaterSense faucet to reduce water waste. You can also spend a bit more to install new energy-efficient windows in certain rooms, but you also have the option to check your current windows to make sure they're not leaking and fix them as needed.
6. Revive the floor: Floors get their workout after so many years, with scuff marks, stains, holes in the carpeting. Everything needs to appear brand new for the walk-throughs, though. If carpets have stains, considering a deep-cleaning service. You can usually have hardwood floors refinished. Broken or loose tiles are usually an easy fix, unless they're of a special design.
7. Spruce up the bathroom: Replacements aren't necessarily the only option in the bathroom. You can refinish the countertops, cabinets and bathtub to make them look new. With the flooring, you could repair or refinish tile or laminate. Sinks can also be refinished, unless it's porcelain that's chipped.
8. Clean out clutter: Closets, cabinets, pantry, garage — there will be clutter throughout your home. Don't wait until the sale to organize all of this. Go through every bit of storage in the house and figure out what you intend to take to your next home and what needs to go. Your house will be going through showings, which means people will be opening things and looking through them.
9. Get impersonal: When people walk into your home, it needs to feel as impersonal as possible. This mean removing family photos, collectibles and strange shower curtains. Put in plants and neutral decorations to stage the house, so people will walk in and experience the house for its benefits, not for how you've been living in it.
10. Make it sparkle and shine: When everything is fixed and updated, you'll need to do a thorough cleaning of the house. Every nook and cranny must be covered. The house will need to shine so that the sun catches every single appealing angle as people walk through to admire and imagine living in it.
A layer of dust bunnies or dirt in key places could lessen the look of the place, which could cause people to walk out the door with what could otherwise be a great opinion of the house.