Selling your home?  Know that it is very important to keep up appearances. Well-kept homes receive higher offers faster, as a well-maintained exterior signals to potential buyers that the entire home has been cared for. Making sure that your home’s siding is not caked in moss and mold, or that gutters are not hanging, keeping hedges clipped, repairing patchy lawns, and removing and replacing dead shrubs, mean sweat equity now, and dollars in the bank later.

If your home has been on the market for a while, but you haven ’t received any offers, it’s probably time to invest some money upfront to make more money at closing. Here are our top picks for the best exterior remodeling projects to increase your home’s value, and to attract buyers.

  1. Replace wooden door with steel security door. According to Remodeling Magazine, replacing an old door with a solid, secure door will recoup 97% of the door’s cost when selling a home. In addition to increased security, a steel door also provides added insulation for lower energy costs, and reduces noise from outside, as well.

  2. Replace Windows: Recently upgraded windows, with either wood or vinyl trim, command a resale of almost 80%. Buyers will see energy savings as a bonus, too.

  3. Garage Door Replacement: You might not notice the dents and scrapes that have occurred over time, but to others, your exterior looks neglected. If you are upgrading your exterior elsewhere, by installing new doors and windows, spend the extra $1,000-3,000 and complete the upgrade. It is also an opportunity to change the style to give your garage, and premises a fresh appearance.

  4. Fiber Cement Siding: Vinyl siding requires maintenance, cracks, and is not an upscale look. Fiber cement siding is an expensive product, but it is transformative. Your 1950s rambler will look like a new build, and post a return on investment of about 80%.

Wood Deck: When potential buyers see a deck, they imagine themselves throwing a backyard barbecue. Decks not only sell houses, but also recoup about 75% resale.