Even a home in excellent condition has room for improvement when it comes to attracting buyers willing to pay top dollar. As a real estate agent, I can honestly say that I have never walked into a house and exclaimed: “There is not a single thing you need to do before we start showing this house!”

There is always something that can be done, however minor or inexpensive, that will help prospective buyers see your home for its top value.  Every single detail you enhance and upgrade that you make will make a difference when it comes to offer time.

Clean, clean, clean – You simply cannot disregard the impact that a clean, spotless home has on potential buyers. People want to live in a clean home and it’s a natural tendency to wonder what else has been neglected when dirt and grime are visible.

Work on your curb appeal – You know what they say about first impressions. During the winter months, trim trees, vines and bushes, rip out dead annuals from flowerbeds and keep the shovel, garbage cans and recycling bins neatly stored in the garage or shed. In the warmer weather, keep your lawn trimmed, gardens neat and kids’ outdoor toys stored out of sight.

Freshen things up – Paint is an inexpensive fix for rooms that are tired, nicked and scratched or of a colour that might be too bold for the average buyer. Neutralize with warm beige or taupe to broaden your home’s appeal.

Focus on the kitchen and bathrooms – The old adage rings true – kitchens and bathrooms sell homes.  Quick and easy fixes to the kitchen can include updating the hardware on the cabinets and drawers. A new sink or faucet will indeed have impact. If time and budget allows, consider a new countertop or backsplash. In the bathroom, replace dated light fixtures and re-grout the existing tile. If possible, replace an old, outdated vanity with a sleek, pedestal sink. Fix dripping faucets, leaky toilets and clean the drains.

Take it to the edge – Fresh, clean trim, crown moulding and baseboards give a home that ‘finished’ look.  Paint and repair existing trim or replace if necessary.

Floor them – Polish hardwood floors and have your carpets steam cleaned. It will be worth whatever you spend having it done – trust me on this one!