If you’re getting ready to list your house and don’t have a ton of money for major improvements and upgrades, don’t worry. You probably shouldn’t do all the big, shiny remodels you see on TV anyway. Most of the time, they don’t provide a good return on the time and money invested. There are, in fact, many other less expensive and yet still effective things you can do. So check out these 5 DIY improvements to make before listing your house in .
1. Paint Walls in Neutral Tones
Painting is relatively inexpensive and an easy DIY project, but it can do wonders for your home’s appearance. Even just touching up scuffs and stains can do a lot.
Just be sure to use neutral colors like beige and gray. That may sound drab, but it better enables buyers to envision your house as their home. Besides, today you can choose from a multitude of attractive, subdued neutral tones with all kinds of subtle hints of other colors. This DIY improvement is inexpensive and ridiculously easy.
3. Update Lighting and Fixtures
If you’re like most of us and have lived in your house a long time, you probably just replace bulbs with the same kind that were already in the fixtures. You should, however, consider upgrading the bulbs and fixtures before listing your house in . Good lighting is a must when buyers come to view your home because it will appear brighter and more inviting and appealing.
In addition, LED lights can last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use 75% less energy. Installing LED lights throughout your house will appeal to buyers who are economically and environmentally conscious. LED bulbs cost more upfront, but save money over the long run. They also don’t give off unwanted heat during the hot summer months – all big selling points.
4. Install Ceiling Fans
Also, before listing your house in , a good DIY project is installing ceiling fans. Buyers like them because they look nice and cut down on utility bills, especially the electric bill during the summer air conditioning months. You can purchase ceiling fans for $50 to $200 (not a very big expense, really), and all you need to install them is wire cutters, wire nuts, and a screwdriver. Even if you have to pay an electrician to run the necessary wiring, you can more than recoup that expense at sale time owing to the good return on the investment.
5. Add Smart Home Technology
We do love our electronic gadgets today, especially all those people known as Millennials. And, today, Millennials make up the largest segment of the home-buying population. So it pays to install features that will appeal to them before listing your house in .
Consider, for example, installing a thermostat that can be controlled from a smartphone, such as a Nest thermostat. In order not to invest too much money on shiny new smart technology, you should concentrate on those things that matter most to buyers: lights, locks, and security.
You really don’t have to break the bank when you’re trying to get your house ready for listing. There are plenty of DIY improvements (like those we’ve mentioned) that will add to both the perceived and actual value of your house. But different features appeal to buyers in different markets. The task lies in knowing which improvements will provide the greatest return in your market. Your local real estate agent can help you out here.