Appraiser Stacey Anfindsen says determining how much a house is worth begins when you take your first look at the landscape.
"A prospective buyer is going to look at this and say, 'Man, I have got to do a lot of things to the yard,'" he says.
Curb appeal is very important, so that is why it's a good idea to cut down trees that block the view of your home from the street and invest in landscaping.
Inside the home, Anfindsen says it is a good idea to put money into two areas: new kitchens and bathrooms. New carpet and a fresh paint job are also good investments.
While you can get a lot of your money back by investing in landscaping, kitchens and bathrooms, Adfindsen says do not overdo it. Spending more than $20,000 in a kitchen for a $200,000 house can be too much.
Spending tens of thousands of dollars on landscaping could intimidate a prospective buyer who thinks they have to maintain all of the pretty flowers. Parade of home shows are the best way to get good ideas on home improvements.