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DIY Home Improvements to Consider Before Selling Your Home

By HRES Staff Writer - August 29, 2019
Couple Painting Wall

When you’re preparing to sell your home, there are a ton of improvements that can be made to make it more appealing to homebuyers (and potentially increased the sale price). But when you’re not looking to invest too much time or money on improvements prior to selling, there are plenty of DIY options to spruce up the home. The key is to make the abode someplace where the buyer can see himself/herself.

  1. Repaint
    Refresh and repaint all rooms – especially in lighter, brighter (but neutral) colors. The space becomes more inviting, spacious, and simply looks cleaner.
  2. Mow the lawn and pull the weeds
    Potential homebuyers should get a warm and fuzzy welcoming feeling before they even enter the home – and you’d be amazing at what a nice, bright, green lawn will do for setting the stage. You can take it a step further by planting florals or annuals around the entrance and pathways, too.
  3. Replace lighting fixtures and dreary bulbs
    Your lighting should aim to feel and look as much like natural, clean, bright sunlight as possible – not yellowy or fluorescent. If your lighting fixtures are in excellent condition, simply replace the lightbulbs with ones that will achieve the bright result – bonus points if they’re eco-friendly LED ones! If your light fixtures are any older than 10 years, consider updating them along with the bulbs; the right light and fixture can literally completely change a room!
  4. Replace countertops
    For standard size surfaces (cabinetry and surfaces that aren’t custom built), it’s relatively easy to find a local place to purchase new granite, marble, or other alternative for replacing the countertops in your kitchen, bathroom, bar tops, and more. A new surface will make the entire room look updated and polished – even if the cabinets aren’t!
  5. Replace (or add) kitchen backsplash
    A breeze to install, a refreshed backsplash (or a new one entirely, if you’ve never had one) will both eliminate the need to repaint the kitchen wall and will upgrade the kitchen at an incredibly low cost.
  6. Replace or well-shampoo carpets.
    Ideally, you’ll replace the carpet with, well, anything other than carpet (hardwood, tile, granite), but if that’s out of your budget or you prefer something you can DIY in less time and for lest money, you can rent a machine from your local big box or hardware store, purchase carpet shampoo, and have all your carpets done in less than a day and $100.
  7. Replace all outlets and light switches.
    They yellow over time (or get tons of gook stuck on them). You don’t notice it because you see if every day, but if they’re older than 5 years, replace them. 
  8. Replace knobs and hardware across all rooms
    And make all knobs/handles/hardware within each room match. This means matching the handles on your bathroom cabinets to the actual handle on the bathroom door; match the metal of the knobs on all your kitchen drawers to the metal of the kitchen faucet.
  9. Allot any costly and time-consuming upgrades to the kitchens and bathrooms.
    Aside from the standard paint jobs and cleaning of the home, the most bang-for-your-buck comes from kitchen and bathroom renovation and improvements – one of the reasons why countertop replacements (mentioned above) make such a great DIY improvement.
    1. Small bathroom updates:
      • Install new lighting
      • Replace dated wallpaper
      • Replace shower curtain or shower glass
      • Upgrade all hardware to match
      • Countertop replacement
    2. Kitchen updates:
      • If the budget allows, upgrade appliances
      • Upgrade faucets and fixtures
      • Improve lighting
      • Countertop replacement
  10. Update the home’s entrance
    How old is your front door? An investment in a quality or modernized door could drastically improve the look of the home. Replace pavers or pathway stones as necessary, and if you have steps or stairs leading up to your front door, consider repaving, re-tiling, or pressure cleaning.
  11. Pressure clean
    A pressure clean machine rental is relatively low cost, and pressure cleaning your driveway, porches, patios, and desks will massively improve your home’s overall appearance.
  12. Refresh exterior paint
    This one may be less of a DIY and more of a pay-someone-to-do (unless you’re a great expert painter), but an exterior paint job spruces up a home and really says “I’m ready to live in!”
  13. Clean gutters
    Like light switches and lighting, these are the little things that you don’t notice make a difference until, well, you see it done!
  14. Stage furniture for space and selling
    Is your furniture and overall interior layout one that would make you want to buy the home, or is it all arranged out of function, rather than aesthetic form? When your house is up for show, make sure to rearrange furniture to allow for maximum area (which will improve the perception of square footage) and general visual appeal.
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