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Affordable home improvements that will add value to your property (Part 1)

Having sold several houses and having helped many realtor's stage their houses which are currently for sale, I feel I have a good sense of "what sells". During these tough times in the real estate market, it is imperative that we do everything we can, on a shoestring budget, to get that house sold! That being said here are a few tips:

- 1. Clean, clean and then clean again. Make sure your house is spotless, both inside and out. Dust away all cobwebs, clean the baseboards scrub the floors, dust those dust bunnies and yes I mean under the beds as well. You would be amazed the people who will look under the beds when viewing a home. Make sure that your house is kept spotless during the sale process. I know this is hard but it is a cheap and easy way to show off your home's potential to future buyers.

- 2. Clean up the outside of your house. Have the house power washed and then check for any roof leaks, cracks in siding, or gaps in siding. Paint the outside if needed, especially the shutters and around the windows. People seem to be obsessed with windows today. If you are unable to afford to replace outdated non energy efficient windows with new one's, caulk and repaint making them to make them look "new". If you have double paned windows which seem to have sprung a leak and are now cloudy, have the glass replaced (more cheaper than new windows). Also check the screens. Re screen those with holes and replace screens in bad repair.

- 3. Curb appeal is a no-briner. The first thing people see when they drive up is the outside of the house. The house could be absolutely gorgeous on the inside but if the exterior doesn't show well these potential buyers won't even bother to stop in. Remember you have a lot of competition out there in this market; you want yours to stand out from the rest. Replant grass if needed; keep the grass mowed and lush. Plant flowers of varying colors and timing to keep the outside looking fresh and bright. Mulch those beds. People like the fresh look of mulch and this will also help to retain the water at the plant roots, keeping your plants alive and more vibrant longer. Edge the lawn. This makes it look landscaped. Trim bushes. Cut down dead trees and of course, rake those pesky leaves, bag them up and dispose of them off of the property. There is absolutely no need to plant expensive flowers - go to Lowe's, Home Depot, Wal-Mart or wherever they sell inexpensive gardening supplies and pick out the cheapest flowering plants, map out a plan and plant away. The more color the better. It will draw the eye of the buyer to your home...
Part I