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You’re gearing up to sell your house, but whoa…your agent just informed you that your asking price should actually be way less. Here are seven things that could be bringing down the value of your home—and how to start making improvements now.

RELATED: 7 Signs It’s Time to Sell Your House


Your Neighbor's Overgrown Lawn

This can decrease your home’s value by a whopping 5 to 10 percent. Why? Home buyers typically look for real estate in locations that are polished and well kept. Start by chatting with your neighbor—you could even offer to chip in to help cover the cost of getting the lawn mowed. If that doesn’t work, contact your local homeowners association or city council to find out your legal options. It’s worth the time if it can up the value of your home.


The Giant Pothole at the End of Your Block

Here’s the problem: If it can lead to vehicle damage, it could deter future buyers. Contact your local government office—or the state department of transportation—to see what can be done and who will cover the cost.


The Dated Fixtures in Your Bathroom

It’s actually pretty simple (and inexpensive) to replace things like your sink faucet and the handles on your medicine cabinet and vanity. Keep in mind: The simpler the design, the better. Anything too trendy can stand out and turn off a potential buyer.


The Dated Appliances in Your Kitchen

Many home buyers are hesitant to sign on the dotted line knowing that all the major kitchen appliances need to be replaced. If your oven is a classic, that’s one thing. But if it’s rusted to the point where it never looks clean, consider investing in a new one to get your place sold faster.


An Exterior Paint Job That's a Little Bit Out There

You loved the idea of painting your house a brilliant magenta, but if it sticks out like a sore thumb beside the other properties on your street, you might want to consider investing in a more muted (read: neutral) tone. Remember, aesthetics matter—it’s all about the curb appeal.

RELATED: 7 Inexpensive Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal


A Painted-Over Fireplace

Sure, in 2007, you were totally sick of exposed brick, but that classic structural detail is a major selling point to prospective buyers. The takeaway: Be wary of any changes that could forever alter the most charming parts of your home.


A Front Door That Doesn't Lock

It’s less about the lock not working (after all, that can be fixed on the cheap) and more about the fact that home buyers might see this as an overt sign of neglect. Think about it: If you don’t care that your front door doesn’t lock, what other elements of your home have you let go? Replace the parts and up your value. It’s as simple as that.

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