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Our house appraised recently for a sum that was less than we had hoped.  Before having a second appraisal, we did the following ten things to improve the overall appearance of the house.  No appraiser will agree with me, but the proof is in the pudding – our second appraisal came in 20,000.00 higher than the previous one.   Here are ten quick things you can do to improve your house before an appraisal:
1. Clear the cobwebs – Get out your telescoping duster or a long handled broom and remove all cobwebs, inside and out. Cost – $0.00
2. Mow and edge your lawn.  We paid a guy to do this for $40.00 and it was worth every penny.
3. Use the magic eraser to get rid of smudge marks.  Mr. Clean has a product called the Magic Eraser – when damp, you can use it to remove smudge marks from doors, light switches, and other high-traffic areas that tend to get smudged.  Cost $3.99.
4. Sweep all outdoor and indoor surfaces.  If you have a cement patio, or other outdoor floor, treat it as you would the inside, and sweep it until you can eat off of it. Cost $0.00
5. Plant some annuals at the front entrance way – we didn’t even have time to plant, so we just bought some $1.88 six-packs of marigolds and placed them strategically near the front door.  It looked very impressive.  Cost $5.64
6. Bake some chocolate chip cookies – this is an old realtor trick.  Don’t cook cabbage or bacon – make some cookies and your home will smell like a home.  Cost $2.99 with a loyalty card at local supermarket.
7. Remove hard water stains with vinegar – if you have glass shower doors, put in some elbow grease with a brush and white vinegar.  It costs 99 cents at the 99 cent store, but the increase in home value is considerably more.  $0.99
8. Clean your stove top.  Cost $0.00 if you already have any type of all-purpose cleaner.
9. Weed your garden. This was included in the $40.00 above, but it can be free if you have time and a good back.
10. Put fresh flowers in vases.  Fresh flowers cost about $6.99 per bouquet at the grocery store.  We bought one and split it between several vases.  Cost $6.99

Total cost: $60.60 – only about 20 dollars if you mow and edge yourself.

ROI: 19,939.40 or about 33,000%


Fresh flowers in vases make a house look homey