If you're thinking of selling your house this spring, it's time to wake it up from hibernation.
You might have heard that some "as is" properties have launched bidding wars in some markets, and that is true. But if there are small repairs and upgrades that you've been putting off, you could be leaving money on the table with lower-priced offers. So, before you start snapping photos of your home for the listing sites, add these DIY-friendly projects to your to-do list.
Revamp the entrance
Nothing says "welcome home" more than a clean and inviting front entrance -- especially if yours has been cluttered by boots and shovels for the past few months. Paint your front door black or charcoal gray -- Zillow found that a home could sell for around $6,000 higher if you do.
You could also replace your current one with a more secure steel door. According to Remodeling's 2021 Cost vs. Value Report, a new exterior steel door costs $2,082, on average, with an ROI of 65%.
Pressure wash the exterior
Winter weather can wreak havoc on your home's exterior, but a thorough pressure washing can give it new life. It's also good for cleaning off sidewalks and driveways that have spent the better part of winter under a layer of snow, ice, and salt. Many landscaping companies offer pressure washing as part of their services, or you can rent a pressure washer from your local home improvement store for the day. The rental price ranges from $40 to $100, according to Consumer Reports.
Wash the windows
Dirty windows are not only an eyesore to would-be homebuyers but also block out sunlight. Wipe off the grime, open up those blinds or curtains, and let the sunshine in to brighten your space -- especially if you have an open house scheduled during the daytime.
Clean up the yard
Curb appeal is everything to buyers, both in person and in the exterior photos you include in your online real estate listing. But don't think that a garden full of colorful blooms is the only way to win buyers' hearts. A mowed lawn and swept sidewalks show that you care about keeping up appearances.
This is also your friendly reminder to put away your garbage pails. Nothing kills curb appeal quite like a pile of trash front and center. At the very least, remove them before you take any exterior photos for the listing. On the day of your open house, pull them into an inconspicuous part of the yard. If yours are looking worse for wear, purchase new ones.
Change/replace light bulbs
Buy some bulbs in bulk, because you're going to be swapping out not only dead bulbs but also fading ones. Ideally, you'll want the bulbs to match each other's cool or warm temperature. You can tell the difference between the two -- warm is a softer yellow glow, while cool is a brighter white -- and you can certainly see the difference if you've mixed them in a light fixture.
Make small interior repairs
Tour your home room by room and make note of any small repairs that you can make, such as tightening a loose door handle, fixing a stuck kitchen drawer, or caulking a drafty window. It's understandable that you might not want to pour big bucks into renovation projects on a home you'll be leaving soon. But if you tackle a list of small repairs, it will show buyers how well you maintained your home -- and that there's potentially less for a new homeowner to do upon moving in.
Spring is widely considered to be the start of the sales season for real estate. Housing inventory has been at historic lows, but more homes could come onto the market in the coming months. If you want your home to attract more buyers and perhaps start a bidding war of your own, get moving on your home to-do list.