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Increasing the vlue of your home before putting it on the marke is important, and your budget shouldn't hold you back.  Here are a few simple tips to improve the look and feel of your home fast - all for under $500.

>  Low-maintenance lawn care:  Over-grown lawns and bushes will cause your home to stand out - in a bad way.  For a few hundred dollars, hire a landscapeing service to tidy up.  Adding plants and trees native to your region will also help boost the home's curb appeal.

>  Deep house cleaning:  Make sure your home says "clean" to potential buyers when they walk in the door.  Even if you clean your home regularly, hire a cleaning service for a through top-to--bottom scrubbing.

>  Make your home feel bigger:  You can't can't change the squareo-footage of your home, but you can make each rom in your house feel larger.  A sunny room feels more open - replace heavy drapes with vertical blinds or shutters.  Also clear the clutter.  Add shelving or storage space to help organize.

>  Replace and update:  Dated wallpaper, old lighting fixtures, popcorn ceilings and broken features such as ceiling fans, could turn many buyers away.  Making these changes will add dollar signs to the value of your home instantly.

>  Add money saving-efficiencies: Updates to make your home more energy-efficient are a big bonus for buyers because they will save them money in the long term.  Many utility companies provide free energy audits so they can show you how to maximize the energy efficiency of your home.  Installing water filtration system is an inexpensive addition that will also lower the buyer's grocery bills - no more bottled water.