If you're selling your home then you should know that one of the popular rooms that tops buyers' favorites list is the kitchen. So it makes sense to spend time, energy, and even a little money to make it shine.

That thought can make some sellers cringe. The thought of spending money to fix up a kitchen in a home that they're about ready to sell is unpalatable. However, it could make the difference between a buyer making a higher offer or even any offer at all.

Kitchen makeovers don't need to make your blood boil and break you out in a sweat, fearing the loss of money that will soon be drained from your bank account. You can tidy up your kitchen and even give it a fresh, stylish, updated look, on a frugal budget.

Let me show you how. It starts with simple things. The kind of tasks you can do yourself.

Deep cleaning. Nothing beats a deep cleaning. This means pulling the refrigerator out from the wall, moving furniture and giving the floor, baseboards, crown molding, walls, back splash, counters and all surfaces a good scrubbing. It's amazing how much crumbs and other debris accumulate in the kitchen (even in a well-cared-for kitchen there's usually a fair amount hidden in between appliances).

Scrub down the appliances. It's so unattractive when you walk into a listed home and you can tell what the family had for dinner just by opening the oven. Think buyers don't open your appliances? Think again! They're considering your home as their own. They will check out your refrigerator, oven, kitchen cabinets, and your closets. So, be careful what you stuff inside them. I often caution sellers to remove medication from your cabinets before having an open house. I know it's more work but it's safer and retains your privacy.

Buy hardware in bulk. You don't have to hire a remodeling company to come in and resurface your cabinets or replace them; that can be very costly. Giving them a deep cleaning or painting them (depending on their surface) can be an excellent way to freshen them up. Then, if you have worn-looking or outdated hardware, buy some knobs. When you buy the hardware in bulk you can often get a better price and easily replace them to give your cabinets a better look.

Experiment with custom high-end additions. Sounds like I'm talking about high-priced additions but actually you can head to a mass retailer and find additions like trim and even plate rack shelving that has a custom, high-end look at a moderate price. Then clear the clutter out of those cabinets and shelves and display beautiful plates in a spacious plate rack. Think of what you're used to seeing in a print or TV add for home decor. It's like a computer ad that shows the solo computer without all the wires - clean, elegant, attractive.

Add molding to your cabinets. This can turn an every-day looking cabinet into a chic kitchen look. Painting your cabinets can give the entire kitchen an upscale look. However, be sure you know what kind of paint will adhere to your cabinets.

Custom hood range. Adding a custom hood range–again it doesn't have to be outrageously priced–can really complete the look of your kitchen. It's a subtle difference that makes it look and feel more like a high-end remodeled kitchen.

A bit of planning and careful budgeting can go a long way in creating a kitchen that sparks an interest in prospective buyers.

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