The interior walls are neutral. The clutter is a distant memory. A shower door has been replaced and even the bedspread has been staged. This San Jose home also got a professional inspection and appraisal to limit any surprises down the road. Now it is ready for sale!

For some sellers, a little extra work can mean not only a difference in how smoothly the sale goes but how much they can ask for their home. Talk to Realtors and they will tell you anything you do cosmetically to increase curb appeal is going to help the resale value.

Here’s the bright spot: Many improvements that have an impact on selling a home aren’t very expensive at all. And some tasks, such as giving rooms a fresh coat of paint, quickly pay off.

Those planning on adding a “for sale” sign to the front lawn this spring might want to consider these five areas while creating their to-do list.

  1. First impressions count – The home’s exterior, the shrubbery, the gutters and the front door should all be kept fresh and clean.
  2. Neutralize and declutter – Neutral colors can have an added advantage of making a room appear larger. Remove all the clutter, basic spring cleaning: shampoo the carpets, rebuff hardwood floors and oil any wood cabinetry.
  3. Consider replacement projects – Home buyers recognize the value of a house that doesn’t need major repairs.
  4. Kitchens and bathrooms rule – It’s no secret that buyers tend to be awed by updated kitchens and bathrooms.
  5. Warranty coverage and documentation – Sellers can provide some extra peace of mind to buyers by purchasing a home warranty on their home that will cover such things as heating and plumbing should the buyer run into problems after closing.
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