A house for sale needs to make a great first impression that lasts all the way through warm handshakes at the closing. Sure, some issues require a professional: if there are missing roof tiles, leaky plumbing, or faulty wiring, get those problems repaired.
But on the DIY front, there are easy projects that will bring return on investment. It is a market truth that the way to sell your house fast is to make it look spacious, spotlessly clean and attractively updated. You can achieve these goals yourself for much less than big renovations cost.
A clean, upgraded, staged home can get 3-5% higher offers, according to the National Association of Realtors, 81% of home-buyers searching online reported having more interest in photos of nicely prepped homes.
Basic clean-up may not sound like an actual remodel, but in its impact, it certainly counts as one.
- Walls, surfaces, and storage space should be cleared of most contents, and all everyday clutter needs to go. The desired look is minimal, but comfortable. Get a head start packing what you value and donating what you don’t. Don’t forget to declutter outside, too, removing toys, tools, etc.
- Clean everything extremely well, doing each step throughout the house. Dust, wash, scrub, sweep, mop, vacuum, and be ready to do daily maintenance to keep it this way. It’s time to clean cabinet corners, grout, nooks and crannies, and the insides of appliances; buyers look.
- Arrange what’s left to show off your house’s features. Furniture should allow for easy flow through rooms, emphasizing a great view, cozy fireplace, or nice conversation area. Create vignettes in each room that suggest purpose or lifestyle: an office set-up in a small extra room, a book and coffee mug by an easy chair, a drinks tray on the porch table, etc.
- Deodorize smells from cooking, pets, and work-outs. Add gentle scents with candles and diffusers, or simmer lemons and herbs on the stove.
- Give some attention to general upkeep around the property. Collect branches, weeds, mow the lawn, prune bushes, and touch up peeling paint. If the lawn is tired, reseeding brings super return on investment; lush grass shouts “well-maintained home!”
Working with color in and around your home is another worthwhile remodel.
- Someone loved the purple bedroom, but bold colors aren’t everyone’s taste. Paint over your personality so that the house’s can shine through. Use neutral shades, which don’t have to be cold or boring. Have an eye-catching accent wall in a different neutral than the room. Other candidates for paint include ceilings, doors, cabinets, closets, and shelves.
- Once you go neutral, add pops of color for a homey touch. Throw pillows, some art, beautiful books, jars of fruit, and cut flowers all provide these touches of comfort.
- Your first impression is made outside, so improve curb appeal by adding colorful native plants, either flowers or greenery.
- The front door is one place where you can indulge in brighter paint for a dramatic welcome. Add new hardware and flank with potted plants to make entering a special moment.
Smart upgrades are definitely a Thing, and many are not complicated to install yourself. Buyers think of even older homes as updated with the latest technology in place that allows for control of security, climate, and light.
If You’re Handy
Some remodels require more skill, but are easy upgrades for the DIY enthusiast. Use your know-how, but projects might include:
- Install shelves and a desk surface to transform a closet into an office.
- Build or refurbish shelves to fit under stairs or in awkward spaces.
- Hang floating shelves for beauty and maximum storage.
- Install simple, updated lighting fixtures in kitchen, bathroom, and outdoor spaces.
Ask Your Agent
Ask your realtor for advice on DIY remodels. Top real estate agents have the expertise to know what your local market demands, what will improve your particular home, and how to show off your home improvements to get your house sold.