When Preparing Your Home for the Market, Spend Your Money WiselyAs a real estate professional, I am often asked about what actions will create the greatest bang for the buck. My answer is always to focus on those things that will increase your home's sense of spaciousness and cleanliness and improve curb appeal:1. Cut your grass, clear any toys, old lawn furniture, and any debris from the yard. This will help create a nice impression as potential buyers drive up to your home.2. Weed your flower beds, plant fresh flowers and apply an ample amount of mulch.3. Paint your front door if it is dingy and remove any cobwebs from the light fixtures by the front door. If your light fixtures are rusted, replace them.4. Make sure that there are no unpleasant odors in your home and take steps to remove them if they are a problem. If you are not sure, ask a friend to give you their opinion.5. Remove any collections, nic-nacks, and family photos. The less time that prospective buyers are looking at your stuff, the more time they will be looking at your house. Consider this an opportunity to "pre-pack" for your upcoming move!6. Clear out the clutter from your closets and pantry. The effect should be that a prospective buyer will think that whoever is living in your home must have a serious case of OCD.7. Remove all magnets, photos, school papers, etc from the refrigerator. 8. Touch up any smudges or nicks on painted surfaces.9. Clear off all counters in the kitchen and bathrooms. This will increase the perception of ample counter space.10. Make sure that all lights are turned on and curtains are open for each and every showing. This will make sure that your house shows to its best advantage.You will notice that these steps cost very little and mostly require a little elbow grease. But my experience is that these are the things that really make the biggest difference.April 23 2010 - Chesapeake11YesReport a ProblemProblemSelect oneOffensive contentIrrelevant contentSpam (pure self-promotion)OtherDetailsYour emailPlease enter a valid email address.Submit CancelContent flaggedWe will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.