<b>5 budget-friendly updates that can help sell your house</b>

Realtors across the country are noticing the same trend: updated homes are selling fast. Younger home-buyers are turning their backs on anything that looks like “Grandma’s house” and opting for something that is more move-in ready. Before a house even hits the market, listing agents are now telling clients that they should invest in some upgrades instead of dropping their price to attract a homebuyer. Here is a list of five updates that will grant you the most bang for your buck and help the offers pour in.

1. Replace or remove window dressings: Buyers are big on how a room feels when they enter it, and an easy way to turn them off is old curtains that limit light or look shabby. Unless they are current and high-end, get rid of your window coverings. This will not only let in more light, but you'll allow people to envision the room with the look that they want. Bare windows show promise; faded curtains make a home look neglected.

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2. Landscaping that sets the tone: Many buyers have unknowingly made up their mind before even entering a house, simply based on how they felt when they pulled up. Even a little bit of attention to your curb-appeal goes a long way. At the very least, trim up your bushes and mow the grass. Fresh mulch and happy plants are affordable and easy ways to punch up your house's look from the street, and they can help provide buyers with the feel-good approach they've been dreaming about. Landscaping updates also are important for your listing photos.

3. Small-scale bathroom remodeling: There are lots of simple and effective ways to spruce up an old-looking bathroom. If you can't afford a full renovation to change out the tub, tile, toilet, and vanity, just a simple re-grout or re-caulk will go a long way in improving your bathroom's important first impression. Old bathtubs can even be re-finished for a reasonably priced, updated look.

4. Wake up your walls: A fresh coat of paint can go a very long way to attracting a homebuyer. Whether your children had a hand in choosing their bedroom colors or trends have changed since you chose your house's palette, it's best to give a modern and clean look before your invite potential buyers in. Light and neutral colors usually work best, allowing people to easily see how their own tastes will fit. Definitely replace any outdated wallpaper that will turn off any turnkey-house seeker.

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5. Everyone wants the perfect kitchen: The kitchen is the biggest make-or-break room when selling a house. New paint and hardware on your cabinets are quick and easy updates that can really make a kitchen sing. In order to take your old kitchen to the next level, consider recessed lighting, a new sink and faucet, or even new countertops. A modern and convenient kitchen will really help you pull in multiple offers, but don't overdo it with complete transformations that are hard to recoup in the sale price.

There are many inexpensive ways to attract buyers who are looking for something move-in ready. While many of these upgrades can be done by yourself, it's always a good idea to hear from the experts. Click over to the Coldwell Banker Heritage Realtors website for expert advice on every aspect of home buying and selling.