Many easy DIY improvements can give you an updated, more attractive home. If you’re looking to sell your home fast, these simple changes have a “wow” factor for potential buyers.
Of course, if your furnace is about to give up the ghost, or if the roof leaks, you have some professional fixes to accomplish before the For Sale sign goes up. But let’s look at 5 DIY areas and the ways to make small improvements that count.
There’s nothing glamorous about decluttering and cleaning, but it is the most important DIY project you can tackle in both rooms and storage spaces. Real estate agents consistently find that very clean homes with very little stuff in them sell faster and for more.
- Clear surfaces and walls, except for select items like throw pillows or books that add pops of color and life.
- Remove signs of “daily life”: scattered toys, old magazines, cereal boxes, etc. Do the same in the yard.
- Un-cram crammed storage spaces for a spacious look.
- Clean the house thoroughly: dust, scrub, sweep, vacuum, and polish. Get grout, nooks, crannies, corners, and inside appliances. It can’t be too clean.
- Neutralize smells of pets, work-out gear, or cooking. Vanilla candles, flowers, or citrus, add gently pleasant scents.
- Outside, power-wash walls, driveway, and patio or paving stones.
Warm, inviting light and/or plenty of natural light enhance your home’s appearance.
- Trim bushes that block natural light.
- Undress windows, leaving simple shades or blinds, for more light and a clean look.
- Apply window film as decorative covering to tone down too-bright sun or to hide a not-ideal view.
- Update lights with simple, new fixtures. Even new lampshades and bulbs can improve the ambient lighting. Replace switch-plates to add personality that new owners can easily change.
Fresh paint can do wonders inside or outside.
- Warm neutrals are what buyers want to see, but walls don’t have to be stark white or dull.
- Within a neutral palette, paint one wall of a room an accent color for understated style.
- Repaint walls that show wear-and-tear or bubblegum-pink rooms that aren’t everyone’s taste.
- Touch up peeling paint outside, especially on shutters, trim, the front door, and garage doors.
- For those who like vibrant hues, the front door is the perfect place for a color that pops and welcomes.
- In a family home, a small area of chalkboard paint in the kitchen or play space is a fun touch. Chalk a welcome message.
New hardware is a small improvement with impact.
- Change kitchen cabinet and drawer handles to simple, modern designs; it gives the kitchen a fresher, pulled-together style.
- Extend that look to the kitchen faucet with a new fixture. Turn the water off first!
- Bathroom and other built-in cabinets benefit from the same treatment.
- Update doorknobs throughout the house, especially on the front door.
Create the “Look” with Staging
Creating a simple, polished look inside and outside will appeal to buyers’ imaginations.
- Arrange remaining furniture to ensure walking “flow” through and around rooms. Use furniture to emphasize a fireplace, view, or conversation area. Repeat on decks and porches.
- Create vignettes that suggest the house’s lifestyle: a candle and pretty soap in the bathroom, an open book and tea tray on a comfy chair, a bowl of fruit in the kitchen, built-in shelves with a few arranged books and objects.
- Maximize outdoor “curb appeal” with a healthy, mowed lawn and trimmed bushes.
- Add native plants or flowers for beauty and color, including potted plants by the front door and outside seating.
Realtors are expert sources of advice on getting a house sold. Consult your realtor on the home improvements that are best for you and that will make your house stand out from the others. You’ll be pleased with the results of some DIY home improvement!