Small projects that pay off big

Make your home more appealing to buyers (and yourself) with these easy indoor upgrades you can do on your own

By Arianne Cohen

(Money Magazine) -- Hoping to sell this spring? Then you may want to put these winter weekends to good use by fixing up a few rooms. Prices are softening, homes are sitting longer. You need a leg up.

"You're competing with new developments, and builders have really thought through what details impress buyers," says agent Katherine Camp of Prudential Douglas Elliman in New York City.

Because you're unlikely to recoup full renovation costs these days, bypass a contractor and focus instead on what you can do yourself, in rooms buyers pay the most attention to.

These five projects should get your house noticed - and snapped up sooner. "Sellers who don't offer these kinds of touches may find their homes languish on the market," says Camp.

See gallery of projects Top of page

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.