Making minor improvements to homes rather than full-on remodeling is the most cost effective way for sellers to boost the value of their properties, according to Zillow. Real estate agents and interior designers who responded to a Zillow survey said that low-cost projects like landscaping and painting walls in neutral colors offer sellers more bang for their buck than full-blown renovations, whose additon to a home's value might not outweigh the cost.

According to the survey, the five home improvement projects delivering the most value are:

* Curb appeal (fresh shrubs & mulch, a fresh coat of paint on the front door)

* Staging (neutral colors & minimal furniture)

* Small home improvements (updated lighting & plumbing fixtures, cabinet or door handles, and minor kitchen and bathroom updates)

* Decluttering (Clean, neat, and simple. No excess photos or decorations)

* Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances

Most high-end finishes don't equal high-end returns. Interior design trends come and go, but most buyers are still requesting granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, according to Zillows Advisory Board.