It is important to understand that most home improvement projects will not produce a positive return on investment, but many will help you to maximize your overall net profit when selling.
When trying to maximize your homes value or the gross sales price of a home, don't overlook the curb appeal of the home. Home buyers get their first impression when they pull up to the house. Be sure to clean up the landscaping by trimming trees and bushes and add fresh mulch. If your garage door is in disrepair, an updated door could produce up to a 98% return. Make improvements to your homes siding if needed. New paint or stucco will go a long way and can produce about a 77% return. New windows can improve both the efficiency and the overall appearance and can yield approximately 74% ROI.
The biggest places inside the home to get a decent return is in the kitchen and bathrooms, but be careful not to over-do it. A solid surface counter top is single best improvement for a kitchen. Update the cabinets with paint/stain and hardware and install new appliances. This project could give you upwards of 80% in return. Bathrooms usually generate a fair return as well. Update paint, clean tiles and grout and install new flooring if needed and you should get about a 70% return. Flooring, fixtures, and lighting all will help in an indirect way.