In most cost-vs.-benefit analyses, a dressed-up entry door is the best possible improvement that sellers can make. But don't go too far -- you don't want to hang the high-end, leaded-glass version on the jamb unless you're in an upscale neighborhood.
A new garage door
Like a new entry door, a brand-new garage door also tops the list of improvements that will help your home make an excellent first impression.
A large deck that spans the length of the house
A couple of factors work against making a big production of a deck: You won't get anything close to a dollar-for-dollar return, and some buyers might want to do something else with that outdoor space.
A simple, 16-by-20-foot (5-by-6-meter) backyard deck
This type of deck will return more of your cost while creating a good impression of how life can be lived in your backyard.
A upscale siding renovation
Your home's exterior is something the buyers will register before they see anything else about the house. In this case, higher end is better, and it will bring a good return.
A high-end kitchen remodel
No one will fault you for failing to install a $5,000 granite slab for your countertop. You'll get back some of the money you put into an expensive kitchen remodel, but not as much as you'd like.
A mid-range kitchen remodel
If you have a very dated kitchen, go ahead and update the cabinets and replace the appliances. But it's OK to choose the more affordable Kenmore oven over the Viking.
Reconditioned kitchen cabinets
By all means, break out some oil and scrub up that wood. But don't pull out the cabinet boxes -- that can be pricey, and you definitely won't get your money back.
New light fixtures
This is a relatively inexpensive fix that can draw attention away from that '80s track lighting and give buyers the impression that your home is up to date.
Adding rolling trays to the kitchen cabinets
This is an easy, fun addition that helps buyers envision how well their stuff can fit into the space.
When you're hoping to get the best possible return on your home, it's easy to overdo it with home staging and renovations. Take a look at the following improvements, and see if you can tell which ones experts recommend to put your best foot forward.
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