It’s no surprise homeowners are looking to do-it-yourself ideas to fill their time—and hopefully add value and appeal to their home.
A recent report by Placer.ai, saw visits to Home Depot increased 7.4% year-over-year for the second week of March. For Lowes, the last week in March saw year-over-year visit count increase 9.6%.
Realtor.com recently surveyed how homeowners are working on home improvement projects. The data showed 32% have “already undertaken home improvement or small around-the-house projects and an additional 15% plan to do so.”
The key question homeowners should consider is which simple home improvement projects make the most sense today? The worst thing is to take on a project that is above your pay grade.
Low-ticket projects can make a big difference with that key first impression for buyers. “If you are considering selling your home post-crisis, prepping for staging, and giving your apartment a fresh coat of white paint can add light and airiness. Changing out old lighting for classic or modern chandeliers can also add a significant pop to a room,” said Samantha Rose Frith of Warburg Realty.
Kitchens count in marketing your home. Frith adds, “with everyone trying to conserve cash right now if you can’t afford to replace kitchen cabinets, think about refreshing them by painting and changing their color, and invest in some good quality hardware, too.”
Diane Cookson, broker associate at Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Saddle River, New Jersey, suggests, “It’s always great to freshen up bathrooms. Cleaning the grout in your bathroom and re-caulking your tub is a project that is definitely worth your attention. Remember that buyers will see defects—no matter how small—in your home and will start to mentally chip away at the price.”
First impressions are everything in selling a home quickly. “A fresh coat of paint on the front door is a low-cost improvement that make a big statement. Add a new doormat and potted plants to make your home more inviting,” Cookson adds.
Dana Green of Compass in Lafayette, California advises her sellers “to demonstrate their pride of ownership. This cost no money, but often increases the sales price.” Green’s suggestions require some time, which many have right now. “Sellers can create a home improvement list (by year) of what they have done to their home. Write a seller love letter. What do you love about your home? What makes it special?”
“DIY projects that seem basic or common sense can have the biggest bang for a seller’s buck. These include cleaning, painting, staging, and landscaping,” explains Adam Touni of Compass’ Palo Alto’s office. “I don’t know how many times in the decade I’ve worked in real estate that I’ve heard “add a pop of color” when seeking to improve the curb appeal of a home, but it’s true. What better a time to tidy up your front yard (while maintaining social distancing) and plant some new flowers.”
Final words of wisdom from John Campbell of Page Taft-Christie’s International Real Estate, an affiliate of Luxury Portfolio International: “Since all homeowners have different skillsets when it comes to these things, I would always advise staying within your comfort zone. Nothing worse than attempting a project with the best intentions and making things worse or more stressful. Keep it simple.” Good advice at any time.