You’re not stupid; when selling your home, the last thing you want to do is sink more money into it with repairs. But here’s the thing – some repairs can pay for themselves and most will reduce the time on market. You’ve created a home that expresses the inner you, but the goal here is just the opposite. The rule of thumb is to neutralize; go for repairs that create a blank slate and allow the buyer to picture what they will do to create their dream home. Here’s 5 repairs and upgrades that’ll accomplish just that.

Clean It Up!

Seriously, this can’t be overstated; clean every inch of your home. Not only will it make the place look more attractive, it shows that you are a caring owner who pays attention to details. Eliminate any pet hair or offensive odors, scrub floors, walls and ceilings, and get those windows spotless.

Paint Is Your Best Friend

A new coat of paint works wonders, and it’s the cheapest upgrade you can get. Use simple, natural colors; you want the buyer’s imagination to get them interested in all the changes they are going to make. Some accents are ok when used in moderation but avoid bold colors; neutral tans, off-whites or light greys and blues are ideal.

Ditch the Wallpaper

Wallpaper tends to be more individually appealing than paint. Go ahead and remove it; it’s almost always worth your time. Use the neutral colors mentioned above for ideal results.

Get Cooking in the Kitchen

Lower and moderately priced kitchen renovations have been shown to pay for themselves in home sales. Skip the expensive items like sub-zero refrigerators and think simple: resurface where possible, replace unsightly countertops and eliminate evidence of leaks (and fix the leak, of course).

Rip Out That Old Roof

It’s true that a new roof probably won’t fully pay for itself when your home sells, but if your present one needs replacement, you’ll dramatically increase the pool of buyers with a new one. A tight roof shows potential buyers that you take maintenance seriously – and that they won’t have to worry about it for years to come.

With these simple steps, you can substantially increase selling price and reduce the time on market. Give the buyer a chance to become emotionally attached to your place, then sit back and await the results.