Putting some sweat equity into your home can do wonders when it comes time to sell. But before dropping big dollars on a major home makeover, consider a few smaller changes that may just give you a bigger dollar-for-dollar return.

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A few cosmetic changes go a long way

Tearing apart your old kitchen may be the cause of countless daydreams; however, first consider a cost-effective facelift. Things like changing fixtures, fresh paint, updating cabinetry handles or adding a decorative backsplash are simple and relatively inexpensive ways to modernize your kitchen and give buyers a better sense of the room’s true potential.

Getting that stain out

Before ripping out every square inch of carpet, consider a steam clean. Find the least toxic method and get rid of all the splotches and stains and see what can be salvaged. Oftentimes, cleaning a carpet using a professional cleaner or a rented steam machine can give it a new lease on life and help save a few dollars that can be better invested in other parts of the home.

Bold may not always be beautiful

Start with the basics: kitchens and bathrooms. According to Remodeling Online / Hanley-Wood, renovating your kitchen can generate an approximate 71 - 88 percent return on investment, as most buyers like these areas to be in move-in condition. Avoid custom cabinetry in favor of something contemporary and neutral. The idea is to generate maximum appeal and increase the value of your property for the broadest possible audience.

All things relative

Keep in mind that no matter how beautiful, a $35,000 bathroom does not belong in a $100,000 home. While bathrooms generate the same return as a new kitchen, a renovation will only get you what buyers can afford. Consider re-glazing the tub for a few hundred dollars before spending thousands on a complete remodeling. Changing the vanity can also give you the updated look buyers are searching for. Adding new faucets or a new mirror can be a dramatic improvement and can be relatively inexpensive.

Consistency is key

One of the questions few renovators ask themselves is whether or not their changes match. Keeping the look and feel consistent will add continuity to the home and allow buyers to see where your improvements could lead them long term. Don’t neglect the outside of the home in favor of fixing the interior. Ensuring things stay consistent throughout the property gives buyers a sense that your property is worth top dollar.

Ask your agent

A Marples and Associates Real Estate Sales Agentcan provide you with some quick and easy advice that is often overlooked when preparing your house for sale. An experienced sales associate can supply you with the latest trends and local supplier knowledge that you may not be familiar with.