Whether you’re looking to sell your home down the road or you’re getting ready to put your home on the market this month, there are many home improvements you can do on your own to add value to your home. A well-informed homeowner will keep track of all remodels or updates over the years, while being aware of the projects that can provide the best return on investment in the future.
Home improvement costs can add up quickly, but maximizing your home’s value by making improvements, adding curb appeal and keeping up with your neighbors can be beneficial when selling your home.
The average return at resale for home improvement projects is 64.4 percent of a project’s cost if the home is sold within a year, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2016 annual Cost vs. Value Report. With increasing home prices and larger, more expensive projects on the rise, here are a few do-it-yourself projects you can check off your list for cheap, prior to sale.
Keep it clean. First impressions count when selling your home. Make the interior of your home shine from floor to ceiling by taking the time to spruce up your space. Pick up personal items and store them neatly away. Wipe down counters, baseboards and all areas inside and outside of the house. Wipe off smudge marks on all windows, doors, and mirrors. Deep cleaning and decluttering your home is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to keep your home looking its best while getting ready to sell.
Add lighting. Brighten up your home without breaking the bank by simply opening windows, cleaning skylights and removing outdated curtains that may be blocking natural light. Have old lighting fixtures hanging from your ceiling? Get rid of any eyesores by updating your lighting with an eye-catching chandelier or a modern ceiling fan.
Think “green” with your landscaping. Any yardwork that improves the curb appeal of your home will benefit you long term. While maintaining your yard by raking leaves, watering plants and removing weeds is key, it’s also important to think “green” when it comes to your landscaping. Choose low-maintenance landscaping, such as adding beds of mulch instead of grass or choosing drought-tolerant plants to cut costs by requiring little effort on your behalf for upkeep.
Replace carpet with wood floors. Lately, potential homebuyers are moving away from wall-to-wall carpeting and prefer homes with hardwood floors. While the idea of removing carpeting and refinishing wood floors on your own can seem like a daunting task, with the proper tools this DIY project can be done on a budget. From prepping and removing carpet to stripping, sanding and cleaning the floor to stain and seal, hardwood flooring can deliver a significant return on investment, while also helping your home sell fast.
Paint the interior. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way when getting your home ready to sell. As one of the most cost-effective home improvements, newly painted rooms will add value to your home by providing a clean and updated look. Stick to neutral colors when choosing your paint, as you’ll want your paint colors to appeal to a large number of people.
Update kitchen appliances. The kitchen is the part of the home that gets the greatest return when updated. While a more expensive option, upgrading your current kitchen appliances like dishwashers, microwaves and stoves can increase the value of your home. Consider choosing stainless steel when updating your kitchen as this style is a popular look for buyers.
Check your electrical. Don’t overlook your home’s electrical wiring and outlets when thinking of selling. A healthy home electrical system is crucial in order to pass a home inspection. Check your appliances, test your sprinkler systems and door bell, and fix any lights or outlets that don’t turn on. While some fixes may require a professional, most of these tasks you can do on your own.
Refresh your bathroom. Outdated and boring bathroom fixtures can really take away from your bathroom’s style and feel. Giving your bathroom a quick refresh is a great DIY project when selling your home. Upgrade fixtures, such as knobs and pulls, check for leaky faucets or poor drainage, consider re-grouting your shower or installing a tile backsplash, and always keep it clean. These easy fixes will add value to your home.
Remove popcorn ceilings. Popcorn ceilings may not make or break a deal, but tend to date and devalue a house, causing potential buyers to look the other way. You can remove your popcorn ceiling yourself with the proper equipment, but if you have an older home be cautious of your popcorn ceiling containing asbestos, and have a professional take a look before you begin the removal.
Stage for selling. Home staging can increase the value of your home by making your home more appealing to a wide range of buyers. A staged home versus a non-staged home can make a difference in how much a potential buyer will offer. DIY home staging is the inexpensive option, which includes removing personal items, rearranging furniture to open up a room, hanging up artwork and even something as simple as adding fresh flowers.
Focus on these DIY projects to ensure you will have the greatest impact at the time of selling your home. If you plan on selling your home a few years from now or your home is actively listed, these DIY home improvements will add value to your home without making any major transformations or expensive repairs and remodels.