As the real estate market changes, home sellers may need to take some extra steps to get their homes sold quickly and for top dollar. The right improvement projects may be one of the steps you’ll need to consider.
If so, it’s important that you don’t select projects based on your tastes or on suggestions from others (unless it’s your real estate agent).
Always focus on items that need repair first. Then, when it comes to improving the home, consider only those projects that will add value or cosmetically appeal to home buyers.
We’re happy to share our knowledge of what’s popular with homebuyers, so feel free to ask.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at three home improvement projects that are often DIY jobs and will help your home sell quickly.
1. You had me at the curb
That first impression is critical when it comes to getting people out of their cars, up the walkway and through the front door of your home. So, let’s get the curb appeal taken care of first.
Start with cleaning and de-cluttering – the same way you will start on the interior. Rake the beds, remove debris, toys and anything else that isn’t part of the landscaping.
Get the lawn in shape, prune trees and shrubs, yank and replace dying ones. A layer of fresh mulch in the planting beds adds the perfect final touch.
How is the rest of the front of the house looking? Clean the gutters, paint the trim, railings and door if they need it. By the way, a Zillow study finds that a black front door increases sale price by 2.9 percent.
Finally, add a pop or two of color with potted plants on the front porch, near the door.
2. Paint is the wonder drug
New paint on the home’s interior walls can transform the appeal. Fresh paint makes the home appear well-cared for and in move-in condition.
To be safe, you may want to choose neutral colors, such as white, off-white or gray. But, you don’t have to, and the Zillow Paint Color Analysis proves that.
Avoid brick or barn red in the kitchen, as homes with this color scheme in the kitchen sold for more than $2300 less than list price. Brown dining room? Paint it another color, or get nearly $1700 less than you hope for the home.
Learn about the money-making paint colors at Forbes.com and ApartmentTherapy.com.
3. Concentrate on the kitchens and bathrooms when upgrading
We aren’t recommending major renovations here. But, if either or both of these rooms require basic updates, performing them is critical.
Paint is the first step. Then, check the sinks and faucets. Replacing them isn’t expensive and will give the rooms a contemporary look. Here are a few other little jobs that can update the look of the kitchen and bathroom:
- Refinish the cabinets
- Add new knobs and pulls on the cabinets and drawers
- If you have the budget, consider replacing countertops, if they need it
- Re-caulk the tub and toilet
- Ensure that the lighting isn’t outdated
- Purchase new linens, such as shower curtain, coordinating towels and rug
- Choose a few stunning accessory pieces
- Avoid cluttering the countertops
Most of these upgrades are DIY jobs. The savings offered by doing it yourself helps increase your return on investment when the home sells.