12 Best Home Improvement Projects That Benefit Home Sellers Most

best-home-improvement-is-cleaning-by-Melissa-Ann-Barrett.jpg HomeGain surveyed 1,000 Realtors nationwide and asked for the top 12 DIY home improvements that cost under $5,000 and benefit home sellers.

Guess what?…

The #1 home improvement that Realtors recommend to home sellers — based on cost and return on investment) is:  Cleaning and de-cluttering!

That’s right. It costs $200 on average to do the proper amount of cleaning and decluttering prior to a move, yet it can increase your home’s value by as much as $1,700.

That’s an 872% return on investment! Extensive cleaning and decluttering was recommended by 98% of Realtors surveyed.

See the other top 11 DIY home improvements that made the list…


The remaining 11 low-cost, do-it-yourself home improvements that Realtors believe home sellers should concentrate on are: (in this order)

  • Home staging
  • Lightening and brightening
  • Landscaping
  • Repairing plumbing
  • Updating electrical
  • Replacing or shampooing carpets
  • Painting interior walls
  • Repairing damaged floors
  • Updating kitchen
  • Painting outside of home
  • Updating bathrooms 

5 DIY Projects Which Cost The Least, Impact The Most

  • Cleaning and decluttering – cost: $200
  • Lightening and brightening – cost: $230
  • Home staging – cost: $300
  • Replacing or shampooing carpets – cost: $300
  • Landscaping front & back – cost: $320


5 DIY Projects With The Greatest Return On Investment

The home improvement projects that have the greatest return on investment value for home sellers are:

  • Cleaning and decluttering – 872%
  • Home staging – 576%
  • Lightening and brightening – 572%
  • Landscaping front & back – 473%
  • Repairing plumbing – 327%


5 DIY Projects Which Affect A Home’s Resale Value The Most

The home improvement projects that have the highest price increases to a home’s resale value are:

  • Updating the kitchen – price increase: $2,850
  • Painting the outside of the home – price increase: $1,815
  • Home staging – price increase: $1,780
  • Painting interior walls – price increase: $1,770
  • Cleaning and decluttering – price increase: $1,700


Cleaning and de-cluttering continues to rank as the top suggested home improvement since the survey was originally conducted in 2000.  See which other items from the list have continued to be high-ranking year after year.

Lynnette Walczak

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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Fun From Around the Web

  • http://www.lightingtheweb.com/quoizel_lighting_s/48.htm Ryan Allen

    That is true about cleaning and decluttering. peoples first impression of you home is a big one and will stick with them. Many people can’t over look the clutter to see the true beauty of your home.

  • Anonymous

    That’s right. It costs $200 on average to do the proper amount of cleaning and decluttering prior to a move, yet it can increase your home’s value by as much as $1,700.

  • http://www.cshandymansvc.com Cshandyman

    I do home improvement type work and one of the most requested thing I do is lighting. After adding new lighting the customers are always amazed at how much better there home looks.