Often times we work with Sellers who are, very rightly so, house proud. Being house proud is important. But you must look at values. So for example if you need new kitchen counter tops and your home is in the 200k and under price range then you are not going to get your money out of replacing the old ones with granite. Use a great new ( less expensive) laminate instead.
The point is talk to you Realtor about your market and sprucing up. This is more true today than ever due to the new way we do appraisals.
If you are a Realtor approach your sellers as follows: "What you are doing is great. It is beautiful. I wish you were working on my house. But understand, if you are doing this for pride then go ahead. If you are doing it to increase the value of your home then look at less expensive alternatives."
Helping sellers in this tough market save money on upgrades and repairs is a valuable service we as Realtors provide. So do not over look this when taking to people about listing. The folks at All Mountain Realty address this issue in all our listing presentations