Before you start scraping paint or planting shrubs and flowers, wash the dirt, mildew and general grunge off the outside of your house. Washing a house can add $10,000 to $15,000 to the sale price of your house.
A bucket of soapy water and a long handled brush can remove the dust and dirt that have splashed onto your wood, vinyl, metal, stucco and brick. Power washers can be rented for about $75 a day and can reaveal the true colour of your flagstone walkways.
Wash your windows inside and out, swipe the cobwebs off from your eaves, and hose down the downspouts. Clean your garage doors. If you can't spray off the dirt scrub it off with some trisodium phosphate disolved in water, available at hardware and home improvement centre.
If you and your spouse have a good sense of humour, you can make your house sparkle in a few weekends. If neither of you can take a joke, get a friend to help or hire someone to do it.