Updating your house to sell it

I've spent a lot of time and money doing exterior remodeling of my home, plus a sizeable remodel of the master bath. We have fairly new appliances, but the counters and cabinets probably need replacing. Answer: This is one of those questions where the answer depends on variables such as condition of competing inventory, whether it's a hot, cold or neutral real estate market and the likelihood of return on investment.

However, the rest of my 22-year-old home needs attention inside. In my experience, many sellers put way too much money into fixing up their homes for sale.

Here are 10 minimum improvements to make before selling your home: If your real estate market is extremely hot -- a seller's market -- you can get away with fewer fix-ups before selling; however, a home that needs repairs will still deliver a lower price.

In slow markets -- a buyer's market -- buyers might not even look at a home that needs work, unless it's an REO.

After all, in some areas such as the bathrooms, buyers spend about 2 seconds peeking into those rooms.

From the information you have given, I would suggest that you start on the outside.

Ask a friend or neighbor to come over and give you objective advice. Trim back the bushes and trees, especially if they block views from the windows and make your home difficult to see from the street.

For example, a few years ago, a past client called to say her next-door neighbors needed to immediately sell their home. All the faucets leaked and, in one bedroom, I found a pile of dead rats swept into a pile in the center of the floor. Not even a coat of paint would have helped sell this place.

We priced it low enough that it attracted multiple offers and sold with zero days on market.

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