Q: What would be the best way to update a house I want to sell with out going bankrupt? Is a buyer really interested in cosmetic improvements like paint and wallpaper? Won’t a buyer want to do their own decorating anyway?

A: I’m glad you asked this question. The answer is yes. Today’s home buyers are spending too much money to buy a house that they typically don’t have the cash left over to paint, put up wallpaper and recarpet.

By doing these basic things before selling, and making your home look as fresh and neutral as possible, you’ll not only sell your home faster, but for a lot more money.

A book you might want to look at is “101 Cost-Effective Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home” by Steve Berges. He, like many others in the real estate world, believes you’ll enhance the value of your home by improving the exterior, and upgrading your interior. In particular, he likes porches, exterior lighting and replacing old floors with new ones.

For the money, paint is cheap and easy to do yourself. Repainting your house with a fresh coat of white or off-white paint will go a long way toward helping you sell your home for the most money possible.