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     Whether you're upgrading or downsizing, moving down the block or across the country; selling your home can be an exciting adventure. There are many different reasons to sell a home, though the goal is still the same: to get the maximum return on your investment.

     The first thing you may want to consider when selling your home is how you can raise the market value for little or no money. Buyers are heavily influenced by the look and feel of the interior and exterior of your home, and even though everything will be removed and décor styles will change with new occupants, it has been shown that potential home buyers are more likely to pay higher prices for homes that are nicely decorated.

     In order to make the interior of your home more appealing, open all blinds and curtains as to let in as much natural light as possible. Leave out candy or a basket of fresh fruit. Remove clutter; it is very distracting and takes away from the actual size of a room. A fresh coat of paint will brighten up a room and will give the home a well-maintained look. Finally, and most importantly, make sure your home is spotless; nothing turns potential buyers away more than a messy home. You want to make visitors feel as if this could be there home!

     One thing that home owners fail to realize is the importance of exterior aesthetics. Realtors and designer have coined the term 'curb appeal' to describe the attractiveness of the exterior of a home. Curb appeal entices potential buyers to enter the home; the exterior appearance is a reflection of the home's interior.

     There are a few simple things you can do in order to 'spruce up' the outside of your home:

* Pressure-wash the exterior of the home; including all windows and doors.
* Paint shutters, window trims and doors to match. This will give the house uniformity.
* Tend to the garden; nothing is more inviting then brightly coloured flowers and a manicured lawn.
* If you have an asphalt driveway, consider resealing it. This will give the driveway a fresh new look.
* If you do not already have security lighting, install some; it costs about $20. Replace your mailbox and the numbers on the house to match

     You may think that a home's curb appeal has little to do with its selling success, but you couldn't be more wrong. Exterior aesthetics are just as important as the interior. You could potentially receive thousands more than you expected for little or no cost to you.