Today we welcome a guest writer, Bret Engle with DIYGuys: Live DIY or Die. He is an architect with a passion for Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects and uses writing as a tool to share his passion with others. Bret has now co-authored a book with his best friend, Ray Flynn, called How to DIY Damn Near Everything. Check out his site, blog, and book after you read this helpful article on preparing your home for sale. In it, he focuses on four DIY home projects. Let’s give Bret Engle a warm welcome!
When it comes to selling your house, not everyone has the time or money to launch into long renovations. Even if you do, it is important to not let yourself get carried away and to focus on doing the minimum amount of work for the best return — and the quickest sale. Depending on your local market, prices can start to go down the longer your house sits unsold, so it’s in your best interest to keep any home projects simple and easy.
Before anything else, estimate how much you can make from selling your home — you can use an online calculator for this. When calculating how much you can get for your home, review local home prices. If this is a figure you are happy with (and if you are being realistic about your expected sale price), you may be better off selling your house as-is. Otherwise, these basic projects should boost your price with minimal effort.
Focus on Your Floors
Hard floors tend to yield the highest resale value. If you can afford it, hardwood floors are the most sought-after, but laminate is also a great option for those on a budget (expect to pay between $1,600 and $5,000 for this flooring option). Installing a new floor is particularly worth it if your floors are looking tired or dated. Carpet and vinyl are two examples of flooring that buyers tend to shy away from; if you have either of these, it could be in your interest to replace them.
If you already have wooden floors, consider giving them a buff and a polish to bring them back to life. To help keep your floors neat and clean, you might need to invest in a good vacuum if you haven’t done so already. When searching for a good vacuum, look for a model that will help suck up any dirt and grime on carpet, tile, and wood flooring. That way, when you have a last minute showing, you can address your floors without too much fuss.
This is a very easy project that could instantly update the overall look of your home. Take a look at your door handles, drawer pulls, faucets, and light fixtures and ask yourself if they could do with an upgrade. Surprisingly, brass is back and matte black is in right now, but you may want to go for something more understated like chrome. As well as the material, consider the shape. On doors, knobs are good for a traditional vibe, but levers are more modern. For faucets, user-friendly modern designs are currently in, but so are vintage shapes and even mixing and matching between styles.
Paint the Walls
A fresh lick of paint should be your go-to home project when selling your house. It can have a huge impact on the overall feel of a room, and you can save a lot of money with DIY. A 2017 report by Zillow found that the color of the bathroom is the one with the most impact on a house’s resale price: shades of blue add the most value, shades of white the least. You could also consider painting your exterior walls if it’s within your budget. Some fresh paint on the outside of the house can considerably boost curb appeal and give the whole place a lift. Homeowners are becoming increasingly willing to risk bright colors on exteriors, but as a seller, you are better off opting for a warm, neutral color with a more general appeal.
Make sure you also take the time to clean, declutter, and stage your home — whether you hire a team of professionals or just DIY — as this can make a difference in a buyer’s first impressions. Overall, any home projects you start should be cosmetic, consistent with the house’s overall design, have a high return on investment, and maintain your house’s price within the neighborhood average. As long as you stick to these guidelines, you won’t get carried away with expensive or impractical renovations, and you will be able to get your home off the market fast.