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5 ways to improve your home without breaking the bank

There are many things a seller can do to help sell their home, but here are five that are inexpensive and can result in the best rate of return on a home.

The first is to clean the home. Getting rid of clutter and moving certain items into either storage or the trash heap is about the least expensive thing you could do.

Second on the list is home staging, This makes your home look like a model, or even a hotel suite. Keep personal items on display to a minimum, clear counter tops, set the table to where it would look like a restaurant setting and so on. Staging is very inexpensive as well.

Carpeting is a third key. Kids, pets and everyday wear and tear tend to deteriorate carpeting faster than you might think, and especially in vacant homes stains and discoloration are the first thing buyers notice when walking through them. Prices on low-end replacement carpeting are very reasonable if you find the right company .

Lightening your home with either better lighting position, brighter paint or a stronger light bulb can also help significantly. No one wants to see a dark home, especially in these dark dreary winter days.

The fifth way to inexpensively improve your home is through landscaping. Trimming trees and bushes, repaving the driveway or just power-washing stained siding are some ways to help the outdoor appearance of your home.

Remember the first impression is what sticks in the buyers' mind, and these ideas can help make it a good one.