Real estate investors who flip houses instead of keeping the majority of their real estate holdings for long term appreciation have their own method of evaluation before making an offer. Of course, the initial sales price is extremely important along with the amount of funds needed to repair the home. Then the selling price is determined and after subtracting all expenses, the profit goes into the bank, ready for the next project.

That’s the theory anyway. Experienced real estate investors have a plan but occasional “flippers” soon find out it’s a lot harder than the last House Flipping episode on cable television.

The investor knows what to fix and what to improve to get the greatest return on the investment dollar. An upgraded kitchen and remodeled baths provide the most return and other interior improvements such as new paint, sparkling appliances and lots of light help sell the home at the ideal price. But to get that ideal price the home needs to be shown to as many potential buyers as possible. The home’s exterior is important as well. You need strong curb appeal. And it’s easier to accomplish than you might first think and doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

A clean exterior indicates a clean interior. With a power washer, clean the siding, the shutters, the gutters along with the sidewalk, porch and driveway. If new paint is needed, a warm, inviting color is preferred and don’t forget about the trim and front door.

Some think that lush landscaping is an attractive option and while it can bring up some color it can also look like a lot of maintenance to those who don’t like to spend their leisure time pruning shrubs. Instead, keep the lawn mowed, leaves raked and free of debris. A nice edge along the curb finishes off a great lawn. And make sure the roof is in good shape both from a physical condition as well as complimenting the color or the home.

Distressed real estate means the property has been neglected for quite some time. And while the interior of the home may require more attention, the exterior can often be remediated with a good clean scrubbing.