Once again... off to the inbox to see what needs to be answered:
Lane, we want to sell our house in a few months. What would be the best way to increase the value and get it to sell faster?
Good questions, both.
First, what I always recommend is that your house be clean, uncluttered, and depersonalized. I recommend that most sellers consult with a stager at least a few weeks before listing. They might recommend paint, removing wallpaper, or updating some parts of the house. These will increase the value and help it sell faster.
Paint (especially if doing it yourself) will increase the value well beyond the investment. Going to the local home improvement store and dropping $200 may yield a couple thousand dollars in return. That is a pretty good Return on Investment (RoI). Of course, the right colors will do the best job... and that is part of the stager's job. Bold colors are usually not the ticket... but they might end up being exactly the ticket for some homes.
Having a garage sale and getting rid of "stuff" that allows your house to have more open space is also almost always a good idea. I can't imagine any better RoI than collecting $500 and then increasing the sale price of the house by a couple thousand. And then you won't have to pack or move that stuff...
Replacing carpet, or refinishing wood floors may also be a good investment. But, now we are talking less about money and more about time on market. You might (or might not) clear the $2000 for new carpet. You probably will get the return from spending a few hundred dollars to have the floors redone if they need it... at all).
Doing much more will probably not result in an increase of value that will offset the cost, much less give a positive RoI. But, updating a kitchen or bath may certainly speed the sale. Most buyers don't really want to buy a house to renovate. They might say they do, but when it gets right down to it, they pick the pretty one.
So, there you have it. Keep in mind that I haven't seen your house, and we haven't consulted a stager.
Final thought... I keep mentioning consulting with a stager. Some agents will tell you they do their own staging. They may. They may be good at it, too. But, I have an accountant and a lawyer. I am not a stager, and I don't have the same level of training. My stagers aren't real estate agents. If one spends all of their time staging, they will be better at it than someone that does it occasionally. Same thing for real estate agents.