Preparing to sell your home can be stressful, especially if you're not sure where you'll get the most bang for your buck. Adding curb appeal is one of the most effective ways to boost value. The key is to choose renovations that will improve your chances of a quick sale at a good price, and to avoid getting bogged down with expensive projects. At Door, we've got a few recommendations for you.

Repainting the exterior of your home can cost $5,000 or more, but there are other ways to add curb appeal without breaking your budget. First, consider power washing the exterior, something you might handle yourself with rented equipment. Next, think about repainting just the trim. A fresh coat of paint, particularly if it's white, will highlight your home's design and cost much less than painting the whole thing.

Take a serious look at your entry area. Replace your old door, or stain or paint it if it is in good condition. You might think about changing the hardware to a stylish new design. Even buying a new doormat can make a difference. Remove dead plants and empty pots, and replace them with new planters filled with easy-care annuals (assign someone to water them regularly). Pick up children's toys, sports equipment, and any other clutter.

If you have an old-fashioned front porch meant for sitting, be sure your furniture is clean, freshly painted or refinished, and that pillows and seat covers are not faded or worn. Check that your doorbell works and that you can hear it throughout the house.

If you have a freestanding mailbox, make it look great. Clean or repaint it, and replace the street number with new decals (or use reflective paint, written large enough to read at night).

Finally, hire a landscaper to prune trees and shrubs, mow and fertilize the lawn, and cover the beds with fresh bark or other mulch. Add flowering plants or shrubs where appropriate. Freshening the landscaping rather than replacing it makes a lot of sense.

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The Door team can help you decide the best ways to improve your curb appeal; call today!