Selling your home is no easy task. It only takes one buyer, but sometimes finding that buyer is like looking for buried treasure. You can increase your chances of striking gold quickly though, by completing a few easy, inexpensive, do-it-yourself home projects that aren’t too time consuming. Read on for a map to give directions along the way.
Before you get started, you might need to shuffle furniture around the house to get it out of the way while you work. Some items, unfortunately, might need to head to a storage unit until you’ve finished everything on your list. Shop around for the best options and deals. For example, Delta Storage in Jersey City is offering 50 percent off for the first two months. While renting a storage unit is an added expense, it might end up protecting some very important pieces of furniture or priceless items you have sprinkled throughout your home. Better safe than sorry!
If you have lived in your house for a few years, your walls may look a little dingy and worn, especially if you have kids who put their hands all over them. Adding a fresh coat of paint will help your house look lighter, brighter, larger, cleaner, and more inviting. Choose a neutral color that won’t be offensive to anyone — gray is a popular current color for homes. You can hire a professional (some painters charge around $50 per hour depending on the size and scope of the project) or do it yourself to save money. Your costs will include paint, rollers, brushes, and maybe some painter’s tape and drop cloths.
Nail Hole and Baseboard Repairs
Before you paint, look for nail holes or gouges in your walls and baseboards. These tend to add up over the years, and fixing them is an easy way to show you care about the details of your house. For the walls, just fill the holes with spackle, let it dry, and then sand and paint. For baseboards, use wood filler for the holes. You may also need to use a nail punch to push some nails back into place before adding the wood filler.
The caulking in your bathrooms around your sinks, tubs, and toilets is likely dirty, so freshen things up with a quick caulking job. Clean and dry the area, cut the caulking tube to the right size, and squeeze the caulk into the opening — it shouldn’t be larger than three-eighths of an inch. Smooth it down with a wet finger and wipe any excess with a wet rag. Let it set up before you get it wet or touch it again. It’s a small detail that will help your bathroom look noticeably better and won’t cost you a lot of money — you can find caulk for around $10 at Home Depot.
Create a Welcoming Entrance
First impressions are everything — it’s hard to overcome a bad one — so spruce up both the outside and inside of your entrance area. Make sure your yard is neat and not overgrown. Replace your old, faded house numbers with a new modern set. Give your front door a new coat of paint. You can put some flowers in a planter if you like, but don’t go overboard — simple is better. Remove anything in the entranceway that makes it look crowded. Put away shoes, mail, keys, backpacks, and bags so potential buyers have room to move around when they come in.
You probably don’t have enough lighting in your home, even if you don’t realize it. More lighting will help it look more inviting to potential buyers. A good rule of thumb is 100 watts for every 50 square feet. Replace bulbs as needed and add more lighting if necessary. There are three main types of lighting — overhead, accent lighting (such lamps), and task-specific lighting, such as under-cabinet lighting. The easiest way to add light is with a few lamps. (Plus you can take them with you when you move.)
How Much You Can Make
If you’re trying to decide which projects to do, you should calculate how much you can make by selling your home based on your updates. If the projects help you increase the selling price, they are likely worth it. If the project is too expensive, you may not make your money back.
These inexpensive, do-it-yourself updates will go a long way toward helping your home look cleaner, brighter and more attractive to potential buyers. You can do most of them in a couple of weekends if you jump in and get started. You’ll be finished just in time to sell your house and get started on updates in your new home.