Little Improvements = Big Returns

It's always a good idea to spruce up the exterior and interior of your home before listing it for sale. But that doesn't mean you have to undertake major and/or expensive project.

Just a little effort will greatly increase the perceived value of your home. After all, if you wanted to undertake a large-scale project, you probably wouldn't be selling!

Here are some simple steps you can take to increase the perceived value of your home and make a great first impression.

Exterior Appearance

  • Keep lawns cut
  • Trim hedges and shrubs
  • Weed and edge gardens
  • Clear driveway and clean up oil spills
  • Clean out garage
  • Power wash
  • Touch up paint
  • Plant colorful, inexpensive flowers. Put them in pots if necessary

At the Front Door

  • Clean porch and foyer
  • Ensure door bell works
  • Repair any broken screens
  • Fresh paint or varnish front door
  • Repair door locks and key access

Create a Buying Mood

Create Space

  • Clear halls and stairs of clutter
  • Store surplus furniture
  • Clear kitchen counter and stove top
  • Clear closets of unnecessary clothing and stuff
  • Remove empty boxes and containers
  • Put away personal photos so buyers can envision the house as theirs


  • Repair leaking taps and toilets
  • Clean furnace and filters
  • Tighten door knobs and latches
  • Repair cracked plaster
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint or touch up where necessary
  • Clean and repair windows
  • Repair seals around tubs and basins
  • Replace defective light bulbs
  • Oil squeaking doors
  • Repair squeaking floor boards

Squeaky Clean

  • Clean and freshen bathrooms
  • Clean fridge and stove (in and out)
  • Clean around heating vents
  • Clean washer and dryer
  • Clean carpets, drapes and window blinds
  • Eliminate pet odors and stains

Sukhwinder Bhaura is with CENTURY 21 President Realty Inc. in Brampton, ON.


  1. Bennett 06/04/2012 at 5:09 AM

    Great article , appreciate your thoughts. Here’s hoping more people think more carefully about the opportunities in more sustainable real estate investment.
    Property Management Gold Coast

  2. Sackville real estate 06/19/2012 at 2:04 PM

    I was about to sale my house but was not aware that by making such small changes I can actually get good returns over my house. Sure to follow these instructions. Thanks for the share.

  3. Groperty 07/06/2012 at 3:16 PM

    It is much cheaper to maintain than it is to replace! Some DIY work will make you more familiar with your property and add to your life skills. Most of the micro projects can be done by men and woman alike - nothing serious.

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