TODAY   |  February 08, 2013

5 fixes that will help sell your home

TODAY real estate expert Barbara Corcoran says that before you put your house on the market, you should doll up your front door, wash your windows and update the fixtures throughout the home.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on "today's" real estate, best bang for your buck when it comes to home improvement . if you're getting ready to put your house on the market and thinking of doing some repairs, what's really worth the money? barbara corcoran is "today's" real estate contributor. good morning.

>> good morning to you, savannah.

>> the housing market is picking up. people are thinking about this. are there general rules about improvements before you put your house up for sale?

>> you want to spend the least you can on the improvements that make the most sense because you'll never get your money back.

>> the pound for pound bang for your buck.

>> best way of putting it.

>> doll up the door.

>> it's like dolling up yourself. you want to make the first impression count. pull up to the front of your own house , get out of that car and do the 20-second test. walk up the walkway, make a note of everything wrong. here is a house that is am meticulous condition. why? it creates a great first impression, clean as a whistle, small house but looks totally charming.

>> we have pictures we'll be showing of good and bad.

>> this house would look like a pile of bricks if they didn't paint that door that color. we have another one maybe, too. maybe not.

>> if you see one that's a what not to do, slag it for us.

>> i certainly will.

>> paint inside and power wash the outside.

>> make it look fresh. you want to be after a fresh house . all it really needs is power washing and painting of the trim. bad first impression but sweetheart of a house . there's another one, a trim painting. that's all that house needs.

>> they know to give it a fresh coat of paint. they may do just white. you say don't do that?

>> no. take a trip to restoration hardware and see what the new hip colors are. see what the young buyers are into and imitate it. it's the easiest thing to do. great white room , by the way.

>> that was a pretty one. little bit off white.

>> white is the one you can always rely on. buyers always like white.

>> here is one i would avoid. wash your windows.

>> people don't see the dirt on their own windows yet the most important thing after location that buyers always cite as to why they picked a particular house is light. they lift it up and oh, my gosh, it actually is a bright room, could be a bright room. this is a beautiful window. the next one is very beautiful, too. clean as a whistle.

>> you say you should also swap out your fix turs. that's a good trick.

>> fixtures date a home. lamp shades freeze your house in time, make it look like 1960s when you actually bought the fixtu fixture. there's a kitchen -- if you had a modern fixture in there, it would make all the difference than doing nothing else. there is another one, those top hates. that's a 1950s funky kitchen. it could look like a retro, hip kitchen if it had a modern light fixture in that ceiling. modern light fixtures, what a difference it makes in that kitchen. one more beautiful light fixtures that says, hey, i'm up to the minute. i'm in style.

>> i like that. don't forget the garage. wait, that's where you put all the stuff when you clean the house .

>> not when it comes time to sell. people can't see the space. paint the floors, paint the walls and paint the trim and the front door in the garage.

>> you have tips of what is not worth it.

>> four big mistakes people make. skip the new edition. it rarely pays off. don't put in a home office . you eliminate a bedroom. it's a bad idea and never pays you back. worst selling colors, white or yellow. don't put in a swimming pool unless you're prepared to lose the money when you sell.

>> what i like about you, you take a position. don go paint that house red. thank you.