Based on survey responses, HomeGain.com developed a Prepare To Sell study with cost and expected benefit information for lower-priced improvements. The 10 most cost-effective improvements for sellers are listed below.

Improvement

Typical Cost

Increase Sale Price

Average Return/Gain after Costs

% Agts Who Recommend

Lighten & Brighten

$86-$110

$768-$935

769%

84%

Clean & Declutter

$305-$339

$2,093-$2,378

584%

91%

Fix Plumbing & Electical

$338-$381

$922-$1,208

196%

63%

Landscape & trim

$432-$506

$1,594-$1,839

266%

72%

Staging

$812-$1,089

$2,275-$2,841

169%

76%

Paint Interior Walls

$1,453 - $1,588

$2,342 - $2,600

63%

69%

Kitchen/Bath Upgrades

$1,545 - $2,120

$3823 - $4,885

138%

83%

Repair Flooring

$1,531 - $1,714

$2,267 - $2,589

50%

62%

Paint Exterior Walls

$2,188 - 2,381

$2,907 - $3,233

34%

57%

Replace Carpeting

$2,602 - $2,765

$3,585 - $3,900

39%

65%
* Typical home characteristics for U.S. agents responding: 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,892 square feet, sale price of $201,798. (May 2000.)

** Here is what is really striking about these survey results: Something as simple as about a $100 spent on lighten/brightening a home can product a 769% return on that cost, and only 84% of the surveyed agents recommend it! Why? $300 spent to clean & declutter a home brings a PROFIT of 584%, and 9% of agents survey said "nah - don't bother." Why not? $450 spent on landscaping will return a profit on this minor investment of 266%, and 28% of their agents don't recommend it! WHY NOT?

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