I get asked all the time at new listings, “What upgrades get the most return on investment?” and I give the same answer, “How much do you want to spend?”. But that is where the work begins. Spending money on a home that you don’t want anymore and want to make the most money on is difficult for many and being able to give them direct advice is key. So if someone where to ask me today how to spend $1000 to upgrade their home that they have just listed, assuming it is in fairly good condition, I would tell them this…

Carpet: Most likely you could not replace your homes carpet for $1000 but you can make improvements. Hire a good carpet cleaning company to shampoo and freshen up those high traffic areas. Also, hire a carpet installer to come through and stretch all necessary carpet. Clean, well fitted carpet can make a huge difference when viewing a home

Fixtures: Lighting fixtures, doorknobs, faucets and hardware should be consistent and updated throughout a house. With a little bit of elbow grease most of these items could be switched out or cleaned up. I always recommend replacing those builder brass light fixtures whenever possible and a hard water abused faucet will do nothing for potential buyers. Stop through Lowe’s or Home Depot on weekends for clearance items that will go well with your decor.

Paint: Painting is a no brainer. Fresh neutral toned paint in a listing has as much wow factor as just about anything. People recognize clean walls and ceilings, so make it a point to spend a couple weekends painting when listing. Entry ways, hallways and high traffic areas area great place to start.

Landscaping: In Indiana your yard will look terrible during the winter but that does not mean your curb appeal should be ignored. Be sure your birdbaths and outdoor furniture are clean and appealing and replaced as needed. In the warmer months, always have a fresh layer of mulch and colorful flowers on display. Even if you are using potted plants they can make a pretty great impression.

Whether your listing an older home or reselling a year old custom home, there is always something you can do for upgrades. Even spending a few hundred bucks on materials can get you a best return on investment and in a market where people expect great upgrades and improvements, getting your house sold can sometimes mean spending a few extra bucks up front.