DIY Projects that Can Sell a Home Quickly
If your parents are ready to downsize, chances are that they’re having a hard time managing their home and need to move as soon as possible. The faster you can get their home in shape and ready to sell, the better for all concerned. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to grab the attention of potential home buyers and help your parents’ home sell quickly. With banks showing a continued reluctance to lend, competition can be very tight as buyers try to strike a compromise between the home of their dreams and one they can afford. The more you can do to make a strong initial impression, the better your chances of winning over a motivated buyer.
Maintain the clean
As soon as it’s decided to put your parents’ house on the market, give the entire place a deep cleaning, and be careful to keep it that way by cleaning thoroughly on a regular basis. You’ll need the tools necessary to keep the whole place spick and span, including a solid, quality vacuum cleaner with high-suction capability, and consider using microfiber wash cloths capable of getting up the worst grime and dust behind appliances and furniture, and keeping hardwood floors gleaming.
An engaging entryway
If it’s true you only have one chance to make a good first impression, you should place particular emphasis on the front entryway. A blase entryway makes it that much more difficult to win over a buyer once they’re inside, so spend some time and thought on creating a welcoming entrance. Keep any plantings well-trimmed and the area around the door weeded so as not to give the impression of neglect or seediness. If your house numbers are looking faded and worn, replace them with shiny, reflective numbers, and consider repainting or replacing your front door if it’s seen better days - an attractive front door will give buyers a positive initial impression they’ll carry with them as they move throughout the house. Once they’re inside, visitors shouldn’t see any shoes, jackets, keys or pieces of mail lying around.
Along with the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms and is always of interest to buyers. With kitchen cabinets being such a dominant feature, it’s important to make sure they’re attractive and well-surfaced, so consider removing all drawers, doors and fixtures, cleaning each surface, deglazing with liquid sand and cleaning each surface once more, then repainting with the color of your choice. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to really make your kitchen pop.
Chances are that your parents’ baseboards have taken a pounding over the years, especially if they’ve been exposed to kids and pets. Fortunately, they can be repaired on a DIY basis fairly easily. Patch all holes, cracks or dents with wood filler, sand them, and repaint or refinish. If baseboards have separated from the wall, simply add caulk at the top where the trim meets the wall. Make sure all nails are flush with the face of the trim board using a nail punch.
Clean out the closets
Rest assured that attentive buyers will check into every nook and cranny of your parents’ home, which means closets and drawers too. A clean, well-organized closet is a sign of a truly well-cared-for house and will impress even the most discriminating buyer, so take the time to declutter each closet, getting rid of everything you can, and carefully organize what’s left behind. This will also help buyers see that your parents’ house has ample closet space, a very important point for anyone looking for a new home.
If your appliances are showing their age, consider replacing knobs (easily done with a pair of needle-nose pliers) and any other fixtures that might help spruce them up. Make sure the facings of your oven, refrigerator, and microwave are sparkling clean.
A first impression is rarely more important than when you’re trying to sell a home. Focus on the front entryway to your parents’ home and keep the exterior area around the front door trim and well-kept. Before you invest a lot of money into your preparations, bear in mind that most staging tasks can be taken care of relatively easily and inexpensively.
About the Author
June Duncan is the co-creator of Rise Up for Caregivers, which offers support for family members and friends who have taken on the responsibility of caring for their loved ones. She is author of the upcoming book, The Complete Guide to Caregiving: A Daily Companion for New Senior Caregivers.