Home Owner Tips

5 Quick Home Improvement Projects to do Before You List

By Last Updated May 11, 2021 4 min read

The housing market is incredibly competitive, and renovations can give you the edge you need to sell your property. Unfortunately, many people don’t have the time or money to invest in extensive renovations, and it’s difficult to know if you’ll get a good return on your investment. That’s why we’ve put together a list of five projects you can tackle that cost very little but can make a big impact on the sellability of your property. 

Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint

By the time you sell your property, it will likely be in need of a new coat of paint. Colors can fade over time, walls can get dirty, and new paint just makes a home more eye-catching. When you’re competing with others for curb appeal, it can help to have that fresh coat. Once you’re able to draw prospective buyers in, warm, neutral colors like beige or tan can help them imagine themselves in the property. 

Living room with patio doors

Fortunately, paint is one of the least expensive ways you can spruce up a home before its listed, and it tends to be far more effective per dollar spent compared to other renovations. It also doesn’t require any professional know-how, and can be accomplished over a weekend, give or take a couple days depending on how much painting you need to do. 

Spruce Up the Exterior  

The exterior of your property needs to be able to draw people in at a glance. While a new coat of paint will help with this, sharp and tidy landscaping can do wonders for your home’s resale value. It also costs very little to add a few quick touches to your front yard including a fresh lawn trim (and replanting any bare patches), some carefully placed flower beds, and a tasteful path such as a stone tile walkway approaching from the curb. 

It’s very possible to go overboard here, though, so make sure you’re only putting in plants that will increase resale value without breaking the bank

Remodel Your Kitchen — On a Budget 

Kitchen renovations make a great first impression, but the kinds that turn buyers’ heads are often too large and expensive to tackle right before listing. Instead, you can do some kitchen touch-ups. Replace old appliances if it’s within your budget to do so, make sure there are no leaky faucets and treat the silver so it shines again.

Kitchen real estate image with wicker pendant lights

Refinish cabinets to give them a modern look without having to invest in new ones. Replace the backsplash, as it can become faded over time, making it look dirty even if you clean it often. Finally, check the tiles for cracks and issues with the grout, or switch to vinyl floors which are far more cost-effective than they used to be.

All of this can be done with the aid of a quick trip to the hardware store, and you can make a lot of touch-ups in just one weekend. 

Replace the Carpet 

Carpet is one of the things hardest hit during the lifetime of a home. Even standard foot traffic can embed dirt deep into the carpet, and if you have pets, it’s exponentially worse. Carpets should ideally be replaced every 5 to 15 years. The more heavily trafficked the area, the sooner it needs to be replaced.

If that isn’t an option, though, you can steam clean your carpet instead. These days it’s possible to rent a steam cleaner from a variety of locations, including many local grocery stores. You’ll be amazed at how deeply it cleans, and how much nicer your carpets look — and feel — once you’re done. It can make a massive difference in the immediate appeal of your property. 

Check for Common Roofing Problems

Often appraisers will demand the roof be redone before you sell your house, and you don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re handling an unexpected bill from contractors. Take a good, hard look at your roof and see if there are any problem areas you can fix up. 

Dark gray house real estate listing image

Specifically you’ll want to check for leaks, as well as mold or dampness in the attic, and cracked or curling shingles. All of these problems are far less costly to fix, and can extend the lifespan of your roof by several years, if not decades. Most roof repairs should only be tackled by very experienced DIYers, however. The average property owner can do a quick Google search for “roofers near me” to find and compare local roofing companies to get the job done right the first time. 

You don’t have to put yourself into debt just to sell your property. These quick home improvement projects will add to the resale value of your home while giving you a great return on investment. Even if you can only manage one of these before listing (we recommend painting!), doing so will greatly boost how quickly your property gets sold.