Don't think of home improvement as spending money but instead think of it as investing in your equity because in fact that is what you’re doing. No matter what the improvement, you are benefiting yourself. As you make changes to your house it becomes more comfortable to live in, more energy efficient and ultimately you've increased its value and its saleability.
Home Improvement can be as simple as fixing the obvious or as complex as rewiring. Though some jobs need professionals, municipal permits or both others with proper planning and preparation can be done for a reasonable cost in a weekend and the rewards will last through the rest of your time in your home and will ultimately make your property more saleable in the future.
I would suggest that you first grab a notepad, a pen and a fresh set of eyes. Take a walk through and around the outside of your home, write down everything that you notice that could be improved. It’s important to note that the broken hinge on the gate that you have learned to live with is something that will form the first impression for a buyer.
Ultimately you are trying to present a home that gives the impression that it has been well cared for and is ready for someone to move into without a long to do list. Once you have completed your walk about sit down and divide your list up into two sections "What you can do" & "What needs more expertise" figure out your budget and prioritize the jobs it’s also a good idea to include a space for time e.g. broken hinge on gate estimated cost $10.00 time 20 minutes.
Once you've accomplished this pat yourself on the back you are already well on the way to becoming a weekend warrior of the best kind, your organised, focused and you have a budget, good work. I suggest that you start off with the easy stuff, set deadlines and reward yourself you will be surprised at how quickly your list diminishes and your skill levels increase.
Everything you've done is a noticeable improvement and has helped turn that first impression into a good one. Once the smaller 'fixes' that were on your list have been accomplished you'll be ready for a project that will take more of a time and dollar commitment. Maybe a fresh coat of paint is what you need. Remember to make your list, budget, time and don't forget prep time.
Proper preparation means a better job in the end. If painting is next you need the right tools and supplies, go to your local paint store and talk to the experts. A good tip is to remember the caulking gun. If you caulk around door jambs, mouldings, baseboards and windows this will not only make your job look more professional in the end but will eliminate nasty drafts. When you’re finished tuck a paint chip with the color number and product under a cover plate before putting it back so you will have it in the future.
The investment you make in painting your home will bring you between 50-100% return. Remember though that it will also remove something from the Buyers “to do” list and that could very well be priceless.