Updating your house to sell it

The process of getting a property ready to put on the market can seem daunting enough.

There’s clearing the clutter, endless amounts of cleaning, organizing and scrutinizing your property with a fine-tooth comb. Welcome to the new world of “fixing to sell.” Gone are the days of throwing it on the market and seeing what happens. Structural and mechanical It might not be glamorous, but buyers are looking at big-ticket items like the age and condition of the roof, air conditioning and heating systems, water heater, electrical panel and pipes.

If you have pets or children, that stress is multiplied.

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Before you even begin to consider cosmetic improvements and repairs like new bathrooms, kitchens, flooring and redecorating, make sure you fix any major structural problems.

Cosmetic solutions can hide problems from potential buyers but are very unlikely to fool a valuer and this will be sure to scupper any sale.

If you're thinking of selling your house down the line, some items lingering on your to-do list could make buyers turn and run.

Here, real-estate pros reveal the repairs and upgrades you should do and the ones you can leave for the new owners.

With housing prices increasing, now is the time invest in your home to capitalize on its value.

Here's what veteran real estate professionals from around the country have to say about what home improvement projects pay off, whether you are selling now or in the future.

New countertops or new appliances may be just the kind of bait you need to reel in a buyer.

Check out comparable listings in your neighborhood and see what work you need to do to compete in the market. 2: The outside of my home isn’t as important as the inside.

Truth: Home buyers often make snap judgments, often based simply on a home’s exterior. “A lot of buyers I work with have done some preliminary online searches or they’ve driven by properties before they even enlist my services,” says Bic De Caro, a real estate agent with Westgate Realty Group in Falls Church, Va.

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