Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our associated lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are ours. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to herein as “Credible.”
If you plan to list your home, you want to make a great first impression. Usually that means doing some repairs and upgrades, inside and out.
Here are 15 home improvements you may want to complete to help your home sell quickly and for the best possible price:
- Paint the outside of your house
- Paint the inside of your house
- Repeat or replace the floor
- Fix or replace window and door screens
- Remove wallpaper
- Upgrade countertops
- Replace light fixtures
- Deep clean your home
- Get a new roof
- Spruce up your landscape
- Create an outdoor living space
- Put your house in the scene
- Fix leaky plumbing
- Fix obvious security issues
- Replace knobs and handles
1. Paint the exterior of your home
Few things can revitalize a home like a new paint. The prep work will remove many of your home’s imperfections, such as chips and cracks in the trim, to make it look newer.
More than just an aesthetic update, painting the exterior also prevents moisture and termite damage and helps the home stay in good condition for many years.
If a complete paint job is not in your budget, consider having a professional power wash at your home and touch up any areas where the paint is chipping or peeling.
2. Paint the inside of your house
Painting the inside of your home is a cost-effective way to spruce it up. It is also quite easy if you have a steady hand and an eye for detail. Just make sure you can complete the proper preparations. That means cleaning the walls, filling and sanding holes, gluing trim, and protecting floors with drop cloths.
You can paint an entire room in a day or two, and with a little planning, you could paint every room in your house on a few weekends. Check with your real estate agent about the best neutral colors to attract a wide range of buyers, and ask your local paint store about the best tools and paint for the job.
3. Repeat or replace the flooring
Historic hardwood floors are often an essential part of a home’s character and a desirable feature for buyers. They can also be repainted if they no longer look their best. Durable tile, stone, and engineered wood can look good for decades with proper care.
But if you have an old carpet or worn vinyl, replacement may be your best option. Old carpet harbors stains, odors, and allergens; Old vinyl can make your home look cheap. Ask your real estate agent for advice on the most popular flooring options in your area and consider making a replacement.
If you are going to sell your home with your existing floors, consider getting a professional cleaning done. This affordable option will continue to help your home look better (and possibly smell better, too).
4. Fix or replace screens on doors and windows
Bent or broken window and door screens, especially on the front of your home, leave your property looking unkempt. Also, damaged screens can’t do their job of letting in fresh air while keeping insects away.
Low-cost solutions include cleaning and patching (or completely removing) damaged displays. An ideal solution, if it fits your budget, is to replace the displays with new ones.
If useful, you can replace them yourself. Otherwise, professional services are available to measure and install custom window screens at your home location. And if you’re not in a rush, you can take the measurements yourself and order custom displays online.
5. Remove the wallpaper
Wallpaper can make a surprising impression, but not always a good one. Tastes in patterns and textures vary more than tastes in paint colors, and buyers won’t be thrilled with the messy, time-consuming prospect of removing unsightly wallpaper. If you take care of this task before listing your home, you will be one step closer to being turnkey.
Get inspired: 18 home improvement projects you can finish in one day
6. Update the countertops
After the outside, the kitchen can be the most important thing to get the buyer’s attention. While a complete kitchen remodel is an expensive and time-consuming undertaking and unlikely to provide a good return on your investment, replacing outdated or worn countertops is a simpler solution that can make a big difference.
If that’s out of the question, consider resealing, renovating, or repainting. The best option will depend on the material of your countertop.
7. Replace light fixtures
Older homes often have older fixtures or accessories that are mismatched from several decades. New light fixtures, both inside and out, can update the look of a home with minimal expense and effort. They can also help you create a cohesive look, from traditional to mid-century modern to contemporary.
When you replace the accessories, you can also install smart bulbs. These allow you to adjust the color, temperature and brightness of each bulb directly from your phone to create the perfect ambience. Plus, these bulbs use energy efficient LEDs, save money, and last for years.
8. Deep clean your house
Even if you still live in your home until it is sold, a deep cleaning before listing will make a big difference. We all go a little blind to hard water stains by the sink, dust on our curtains, and dirt on our windows. If scrubbing isn’t your favorite way to relieve stress, hire a professional cleaning service. They will eliminate these tasks and many more to make your home shine.
9. Get a new roof
A new roof is not a glamorous or exciting home improvement project. It is also not an expense that future owners want to deal with. What they do want is the security of knowing that the major purchase they are about to make will not suffer water damage from a leak the next time it rains. If your roof is nearing the end of its life, consider getting some deals to replace it.
This project may be too expensive to be worth the investment, and it’s not a good place to put your DIY skills to the test. But keep in mind that if a buyer’s home inspector says their roof is destroyed, they may need to lower the sales price.
Related: Home improvement loans
10. Spruce up your landscaping
Attractive exterior It’s the first thing a prospective buyer will notice when they arrive at your home, and your yard can make or break your impression. Bright flowers and carefully trimmed hedges will help you imagine the compliments your guests will give you at the housewarming party. Weeds will make you wonder how much to budget for your landscaping service.
Also keep in mind that less is more. Buyers will appreciate a clear view of the home, so if your trees are overgrown or your collection of potted plants has outgrown the front porch, look for ways to scale down.
11. Create an outdoor living space
Speaking of guests, many shoppers love the idea of relaxing and entertaining in the backyard. Try to convince them that your house is the place to do it (after they buy it, of course).
You don’t have to build an outdoor kitchen to cross this item off your list. Simply create an outdoor space that suggests a cozy place to gather, like four comfortable chairs around a fire pit or a long picnic table with colorful silverware.
12. Put your house on stage
The most functional elements for a comfortable life, such as reclining sofas and blackout curtains, are not usually the most attractive options to show off your home. That is why you may want to use a home assembly company.
Home staging is not technically a home improvement, but it will make your home much more attractive to buyers. A professional designer’s staging tricks and furniture and décor arsenal can make your home look like the bright, airy, and trendy “after” to your favorite home improvement show.
13. Fix leaky pipes
Similar to replacing the roof, this is not exciting. But if buyers see a leaky faucet or shower head, they may wonder what other maintenance you have neglected.
If your accessories are stylish, they may be worth repairing. If not, a replacement might be the best option, especially if the repair would be labor-intensive or if the accessory is old. Consider hiring a handyman or plumber for this job if you’re not interested in getting under the sink.
14. Fix obvious security issues
If your smoke detectors aren’t working, the furnace is broken, or the stair railing is loose, buyers (or at least your home inspectors) will notice.
As with leaky faucets, safety issues are a sign of negligence. They can also prevent buyers from getting approved for certain mortgages. Bite the bullet and pay for these repairs up front.
15. Replace knobs and handles
This is a project that almost anyone can complete with a ratchet screwdriver and a trip to the hardware store. Unscrew all the scratched and worn drawer handles and cabinet knobs in your kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room and replace them. Make sure to select new ones with the same hole alignment. This small improvement can make a surprisingly big difference, especially if your hardware is outdated.
Consider a cash-out refinance
TO cash refinance can help you pay for various housing projects and lower your mortgage rate. It may be a good option if you are not moving soon. If selling is in your short-term plans, check with your real estate agent to go over the most profitable home improvements that will help you sell your home.
Credible can help you get started on your cash-out refinance. You can compare the loan options of all our partner lenders and get pre-qualified rates in just a few minutes.