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Get What Your House is Worth

Getting Your Price in an Improving Market

For the first time in several years home prices are rising in many of the nation's metropolitan areas. This is good news for homeowners who have been waiting to put their homes on the market. But competition can be stiff and the savvy seller will put a few dollars and a little elbow grease into sprucing up his property to make it more attractive to potential buyers.

From California real estate agent Ellen Parker here are five tips for improving your home's eye appeal without breaking the bank:

Curb appeal counts A buyer's first impression is important. Be sure the lawns and landscaping are neatly trimmed no toys or equipment clutter the lawn or driveway and the front door and mat look fresh clean and inviting. Painting or replacing a faded front door can vastly improve the look of the property.

Neutralize the rooms Especially if you have tended toward bright paint colors it may be time for a coat of paint to neutralize the living areas of your home. Choosing a safe off-white or cream colored paint can improve the home's eye appeal for a greater number of buyers.

Brighten the bathroom Tired-looking or outdated bathrooms are frequently a buyer turn-off. But you don't need to completely remodel. Replacing the sink and/or cabinet with a trendy new style or changing out the hardware for something snazzier can make a huge difference. Be sure the hanging towels and bath mat and the shower curtain if you have one are fresh and super clean.

Tidy the kitchen Here again a fresh coat of paint can improve the look of your kitchen and even older flooring or countertops will look better when cleaned to a shine. Removing clutter from the countertops including canisters and some small appliances will help create a feeling of space. Keep all sponges and towels out of view and be sure the sink is shiny clean and free of dirty dishes.

Let the light in Dark rooms are another turn-off. Especially when you know your home will be shown open the drapes and curtains to let natural light in.

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