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.
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.
About the author: Oscar is the founder and managing Broker for DSCVR Realty, Inc., as well as a practicing Florida real estate attorney. He founded the company with the purpose of elevating the real estate profession by increasing standards, better education, professionalism, and adapting to changing technology.
A native of St. Petersburg, Florida and a second generation Gator, he received a B.A. from the University of Florida and a J.D. from Stetson University’s College of Law. Oscar began working in real estate in 1994 with Prudential Florida Realty as a sales associate. He continued in real estate as an associate attorney with the firm on Bush, Ross, Gardner, Warren, & Rudy in 2002 before leaving to open his own practice. Oscar also held the position of Sales & Marketing Director for Ballast Point Homes separately from his law practice. He is a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator.
As a captain in the US Army JAG Corps, he served as a Judge Advocate in the 3rd Infantry Division and then as Chief of Client Services, Schweinfurt, Germany and Chief of Criminal Justice for the 200th MP Command, Ft. Meade, Maryland. He is a certified VA attorney representative and an active member of VARep, an organization of real estate professionals dedicated to representing and education veterans. Oscar focuses his passion for real estate on providing exceptional client services. Visit his personal real estate website SellingStPetersburg.com.