1. Bust clutter

“Clutter,” of course, is in the eye of the beholder, so think of it this way: Buyers need to imagine your home as their own, with their possessions and their style.

  • Remove bikes, skateboards, trash cans, garden tools and other evidence of bustling family life.
  • Walk around the house with a garbage can, tossing scraps of paper and plastic, branches, leaves, dog waste and anything else that doesn’t belong in the yard.
  • Eliminate all but a few carefully selected pots and pieces of outdoor furniture.

2. Freshen the entry

Clean the front door and give it a couple of coats of paint. Repair, replace or remove damaged screen doors and storm doors.

Remove everything, including furniture and pots, from the porch, deck or entry and give the entire area a thorough cleaning. Repaint or touch up where needed.

3. Add front-door color

A bright note of contrasting color can bring a home’s front door to life. The trick is to choose colors that complement your home’s exterior landscaping and colors.

4. Add living space outdoors

If your porch, deck or garden allows, install furnishings that expand the home’s living space into the outdoors. Outdoor rooms are a trendy attraction for homebuyers.

Suggestions include adding an inexpensive indoor-outdoor rug, a porch swing, deck furniture, mood lighting, dining or barbecuing areas, or an outdoor bar. Chose items you can take with you for your new home.

5. Repaint the exterior

Repainting the outside of your home isn’t a low-budget option. But if the home is ready for a paint job and you can swing it, a new coat of paint seriously pumps up curb appeal.

6. Paint trim

If you can’t paint the entire home, paint the trim — or just the window trim — in an accent color. This is a relatively simple upgrade that provides plenty of pop.

7. Replace entry fixtures

Old fixtures often seem dated and unappealing to buyers. By contrast, new exterior light fixtures can quickly give a home an updated look.

While you’re at it, replace the house numbers, the entry-door lock set and front-door mailbox. Brushed nickel gives a contemporary look, while an oiled bronze finish works well in traditional homes.

8. Power wash

Rent a power washer if you don’t own one and clean decks, the car port and pavement. If you can’t repaint, use a power washer carefully to clean and brighten the home’s siding.

9. Clean and repair paving

Patch and repair concrete and asphalt paving, and apply a new coat of sealer to the asphalt. Spread a fresh layer of gravel on gravel drives and pathways.

10. Clean the windows

Have the windows cleaned or do it yourself, but don’t put your home on the market without sparkling windows, inside and out.

11. Clean and repair the roof

If your roof has moss, weeds or mold, clean it until it looks great from the street. Replace missing or broken shakes or tiles. Clean the gutters.

12. Mow, weed and trim

Keep the lawn carefully mowed. Spend a weekend shaping, pruning and cutting back overgrown shrubs. Mow neglected and overgrown areas.

Prune trees and remove limbs that hang over the house. Weed gardens thoroughly, and cover beds with mulch or compost.

13. Add high-impact landscaping

Tasteful landscaping can define a home’s exterior.

Also, get instant results by installing a few trees in pots to fill holes or bare spots in the landscaping.

Frame the front door or entrance with symmetrical pots holding small trees or medium-sized perennial plants. If your budget is limited, concentrate purchases on buying plants that will create a beautiful entrance.

14. Shrink the lawn

Homebuyers today are all about low maintenance. Reduce the maintenance and the water bill by removing a section of lawn and replacing it with drought-tolerant landscaping.

Create new garden beds filled with low-water plantings. To learn more, read “12 Excellent Drought-Resistant Plants.” Installing an irrigation system is another low-maintenance amenity sure to prove attractive to buyers.

15. Install outdoor lighting

Path lighting is an inexpensive, high-impact upgrade. You can install it yourself.

Use a low-voltage outdoor system, or skip the wiring altogether and use individual solar path lights. The solar lights are less bright, but path lighting doesn’t require blazing light, only visual cues for safety and attractiveness.

Also, replace or add lighting fixtures to the home or garage exterior. Again, skip glaring floodlights. They can be blinding, creating a hazard.

16. Edge the garden

Adding a border or edging to paths and garden beds gives landscaping a clean, professional appearance and adds to curb appeal. You have a choice of many materials, including stone, concrete, manufactured stone, wood, brick and metal edging. Be wary of plastic edging. It can look cheap and flimsy, turning off buyer.