(WTXL) - The real estate market is always changing, and it's up to you to get the most value out of what you put into your home.
Some home projects can increase your value, others can preserve it, and some might not be worth the money you spend on them.
Angie Hicks, Angie's List founder said "When building your home, make sure you remember you're probably not going to live there forever. So steer clear of these resale killers."
Indianapolis real estate agent Gavin Frost said he tells homeowners to focus on paint, staging, flooring and lighting.
"We're talking about furniture, we're talking about little knick knacks that can pull the whole thing together. In other words, declutter the home and pull it together as one homogenous look for the whole house," said Frost.
Frost said avoid spending too much on mechanical elements of your home if you're planning to sell.
He also advises paying attention to the exterior, including pulling out bushes, planting flowers and replenishing mulch.
As you make these changes, be sure they all work together.
"It's really important to get a professional involved, look at all those pieces, keep an overall plan, and that will get you the most value and the best look," said Frost.
But don't just think about increasing value. Some projects, such as bringing things up to date, help keep from losing value.
"Not every project in your home increases the value of your home. A lot of projects that need to be done preserve the value of your home. And by doing them now, you're going to get dinged less in the market," said Frost.
Angie also said that if you're doing a job yourself, make sure you know what you're doing. A bad DIY job will not only fail to improve the value of the house, it will call the rest of the house into question