Before you put your home on the market, you’ll want to give it a good look over to see if anything can be done to improve its appeal to prospective buyers. If too many issues, big or small, crop up during the inspection or to the buyer’s eye, it’ll be more difficult to get your asking price. Or, if you’re tired of looking at your home as is and have been dreaming of a new one, why not fix what you’ve got?
Check for cosmetic issues, practical repairs, and add some decorative touches too as you prep your home for sale. All these types of improvements will increase the value and appeal of your home. Many are inexpensive and easy to do – yet, they’ll make a big impact.
Quick cosmetic fixes
Chances are there are a number of cosmetic fixes around your house, some obvious and others – not so much. Here are some quick and easy cosmetic DIY projects you can do within a budget.
- Paint your kitchen cabinets. Your cabinets are one of the central focal pieces of your kitchen and your eye will immediately be drawn to them. If your cabinets are worn or outdated, give them a quick refresh with a shiny new paint job. Remember, bright and sleek are totally in.
- Paint rooms. While people know they can paint rooms, many don’t want the hassle or are deterred by scuff marks, scratches, and other imperfections – give these walls a new paint job. If you want to add dramatic flair to your room, try painting just one wall to deliver some attractive contrast.
- Outdoor power-washing. If you see any unsightly mildew, wet stains, moss, or automotive stains outside your home, a quick power-wash will make your sidewalks, driveway, sheds, or house siding look new.
- Spruce up the front door. As your welcome mat, you want your door to look it’s best. Apply some fresh paint, buy a new doorknob, lock, and knocker in a modern style (or one that fits your home’s personality), and be sure your walkway/steps/entryway is looking its best.
Making simple cosmetic changes can go a long way towards boosting the look of your home and, by extension, attract potential buyers. Sometimes those little things can go a long way towards making a huge difference.
No one wants to move into their new home and have to deal with making small repairs throughout their house. The more repairs they see needing to be done, the less likely they’ll make a good offer. If you’re looking to list, if the obvious things are broken or in disrepair, buyers will start wondering about the big stuff too. Make an effort to catch all the practical repairs and get them fixed DIY style.
- Replace leaky faucets. Drip.Drip.Drip. No prospective buyer wants to see this, not to mention they’ll worry about the condition of the rest of your home’s plumbing. Faucets (and shower heads) are a pretty straight forward DIY repair.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Dials to adjust heat and cooling are so mid-20th century. If you’re still using these, now’s a good time to upgrade since many homes already have a digital programmable thermostat to use to set their desired temperatures when at home or away.
- Replace the furnace filter. This is a maintenance task that shouldn’t be ignored. Ideally, you should be checking your filters every month for dirt and change them out every three months. This is an easy task that will take minutes.
- Install weather-stripping. Applying weather-strip throughout the drafty areas of your home will help keep drafts away and allow your home to remain at the comfort level of temperature set.
- Drain the water heater. This is an easy DIY task that many people don’t realize they should be doing. Over time, sediment collects at the bottom of a water heater impacting its efficiency. By draining sediment out every few months, you can avoid this occurring. Let it go too long and your hot water heater may need to be replaced. As a seller, if an inspector picks up on it, they may make replacement “a must do” before you can seal the deal on your house sale.
Additionally, you want to make sure things like electrical outlets, lights switches, dryer ducts, and appliances are all working correctly or running well. If these are beyond your DIY abilities, it’s a good idea to consider calling a professional to ensure things are in working—and safe—order.
Ever wonder why people hire stagers to take over their home before they sell? It’s because these professionals know how to make just the right presentation through placement and décor. While you certainly can go ahead and hire someone, if you’ve got an eye for detail, you can make some changes yourself to enjoy or use as a selling tactic.
- Add window trim. You don’t need to pay costly carpenter fees or have serious woodworking skills to add some decorative DIY window trim to create an eye-pleasing appearance.
- Update hardware. Take a look throughout your house at your doorknobs, cabinets, and drawers. Do any look outdated, worn down, or are just unattractive. For a quick and simple transformation, install some new hardware knobs and pulls. This small change can equate to big eye-catching improvement to any room.
- Replace outlet and switch plates. If you’re still using the default outlet and switch plates everyone else has since the original contractor bought in bulk – why not go for something new? You can choose from many different styles, colors, and designs and give each room its own unique touches.
First impressions are everything. Add some special decorative touches and any buyers viewing your home are sure to notice any obvious details but the bottom line is anything that isn’t attractive will stand out more—a good strategy is to add those subtle fixes. Remember, when taking on any DIY project, be sure to always follow directions carefully, use protective gear, gloves when working with chemicals, and when climbing on ladders, be sure they are properly anchored because you don’t want to have a ladder accident.
If you want to sell your home fast or just want to make things more comfortable for yourself, by completing some DIY projects you’ll immediately see and feel the results.