So, you’ve decided it’s time to sell your home. It was a hard decision, but it’s definitely time for a change of scenery. Fortunately for you, it’s perfect and there’s nothing that could possibly be upgraded to make it any easier to sell… or is it? Don’t be ashamed, a lot of people are very proud of their homes – and for good reason! But just because you love the place doesn’t mean that its best features are going to stand out for the people who are shopping for a home today.

That means it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do some work. You don’t necessarily need to completely remodel your home, but there are always changes you can make to better compete in the housing market. These are some of the top cost-conscious upgrades that will make your home shout “pick me”:

Repainting. There’s little you can do to add as much “new” feel to a home with little out of pocket costs as you get with a new paint job. If you’re planning to sell, this is a good chance to also tone down some of the more dramatic personalization you may have done in your home. That orange dining room might be your absolute favorite thing ever but giving a potential new owner a chance to see it with a neural palette can make it easier for them to imagine themselves living there. When choosing room colors, cool grays are really in, plain bare white walls are definitely out.

New Landscaping

Landscaping. The first thing a person sees when they show up to look at your house is the outside. Sure, your interior may be incredible, but if you don’t have something in the landscaping that makes your home a draw from the moment a buyer’s car drives up, you may lose your best prospects. You certainly don’t want to have them going through the front door, already harboring negative feelings for what they saw out front.

Planting some new bushes and dressing up the area with a picket fence might be called for, but for many homes, mowing the lawn, adding some extra mulch to the flower beds, and trimming the existing perennials can be more than enough to create a totally fresh look.

Enhancing Patio Spaces. With so many social events being held outside, patios are really shining. If you don’t have one, it’s time to add one. Decks, stone patios, and concrete slabs can all enhance your outdoor entertaining spaces and can be affordable add-ons. Just be sure to match your new patio to your home’s overall style, otherwise you may find that buyers get a bad case of vertigo going from your ultra-mod kitchen out to a deck straight from the 1990s. Design matters, so choose your patio or deck design carefully.

Outdoor living space

Kitchen Remodeling. Speaking of kitchens, when was the last time yours had a facelift? They get so much wear and tear with daily use that it’s really advisable to perk them up before you list your home for sale. Even simple things like replacing appliances or refinishing counters and backsplashes can make a huge visual impact. Touching up worn finish on cabinets or refinishing those cabinets entirely will also take away a lot of the “lived-in” look that can make a home feel tired. Your kitchen is one of your strongest selling points in your house, after all – it needs to stand out.

Increasing Finished Space. There are plenty of spaces in most homes that can be turned into usable space with minimal expense. You know that basement you never even go into? That’s potential untapped square footage that someone else may really want. Is your attic great for storage, but never really grew into a room? There’s some more room a buyer may desperately want. Buyers today are looking to upgrade so they have room for things like home offices and playrooms, finishing out those unfinished spaces can turn your home into a real winner (and in many cases, increase your home’s value).

Of course, the upgrades your home will need should be evaluated by a professional like a real estate agent. They can give you a punch list of items that are definitely in need of repair or replacing, and ideas about how to do that so you’re the most competitive in your own market. After all, the stuff you see on TV isn’t always what’s right for the type of house you own or the neighborhood you live in – houses are individuals!

Meeting with your agent before you get your home ready to list can actually speed up the process dramatically and eliminates a lot of guesswork on your part when it comes time to get down and dirty with the upgrading.