With the current pandemic causing disruptions in the daily rhythm of our lives, you may suddenly find yourself at home and thinking about tackling some of those home improvement projects you’ve been putting off for weeks, months – even years. 

As a real estate professional, I regularly consult with clients on areas they can add resale value to their homes with little effort and cost. Whether you hire a professional to help or tackle these areas yourself (which may be the best option given the circumstances), here are some simple updates you can make to your home during these days of quarantine that will help you sell your home quickly when the time is appropriate to do so: 

1. Room Refresh: One of the easiest things you can do to add value to your home is to refresh the paint in a given room. Choose paint color options that are light and neutral, and be careful not to focus too much on what you think looks good or what matches the furnishings. Also, pay attention to details like the molding, trim, and doors. Scuffed, chipped, and faded trim can detract from an otherwise flawless wall refresh, so consider painting the trim as well! Check out some of these popular paint colors if a change is in order: https://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/color/find-and-explore-colors/paint-colors-by-collection/top-50-colors

2. Kitchen Clean-out: When buyers are shopping for their next home, the kitchen is by far one of the most popular checkpoints for consideration in a home purchase. Aside from major updates typically seen on television shows, a simple clean-out and shine can work wonders on your kitchen when preparing it to sell. Organize the cabinets, remove as much clutter as possible from the countertops, and try to keep the space bright and open as much as possible. For more kitchen tips, check out: https://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/organizing-tips/g3426/best-kitchen-organization-tips/

3. Closet Organization: Believe it or not, closets are some of the most important spaces in a home – especially if the prospective buyer needs storage space! By organizing your closet and showcasing the amount of storage available in your home, you’ll open up the possibilities for others to visualize living there. Here are some tips to tackling the closets in your home: https://www.closetsbydesign.com/blog/custom-closets-selling-home/

4. Curb Appeal: Refreshing your home’s landscaping by pruning overgrown shrubs and adding fresh mulch (see who delivers) can go a long way in adding value to your home by increasing the impact of the first impression. You can also consider painting your front door, updating the hardware, and cleaning the windows for that added touch that makes buyers fall in love at first sight. https://www.trianglelandscapesupplies.com/

5. Fixture Fix: Light fixtures, bathroom fixtures, and other hardware throughout your home can have a small yet powerful impact on the visual presentation of your home. If you’re handy enough to tackle some of these yourself, making small changes by swapping out – or even just cleaning – fixtures can really go a long way when the time comes to put your home on the market. Of course, if you have limited knowledge of these things, then it’s best to call in the professionals! https://www.lowes.com/n/how-to/change-a-light-fixture

6. Tile Makeover: If your tiled shower or bathroom wall is completely outdated and starting to show its age, then you may want to consider refinishing the surface. There’s actually this paint-on coating you can apply to any clean tiled surface, and it’s relatively inexpensive. Take caution, however, the fumes from this stuff are VERY strong – so be sure to work in a well-ventilated space. The end result is typically a brighter, cleaner space that buyers will love. Learn more about this product here: https://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-7860519-Refinishing-2-Part-White/dp/B000PTSBKW

7. Garage Guru: If your home has a garage, it’s important to showcase the available storage space in this part of the home to potential buyers. In some cases, the garage can act as a temporary storage area while your home is on the market – which is perfectly fine! If this is not the case, however, you’ll want to take some time to organize the garage to show off its potential. Here are some garage organization tips for when you’re preparing to sell: https://organizedliving.com/garages/tackle-garage-organization

8. Bathroom Vanities & Mirrors: Some of the easiest places to add value with minimal effort exist in places we use quite often, and that includes your bathroom vanity and mirror. If your home has an existing bathroom mirror from the builder, you can dress it up a bit by adding a wood frame around the border or remove it altogether and replace it with smaller, individual decorative mirrors. For the vanity, a simple coat of paint or a few hours of elbow grease and some chalk paint can give an otherwise boring cabinet a rustic or polished look. Here’s an excellent resource for some vanity restoration inspiration: https://www.familyhandyman.com/bathroom/12-astonishing-diy-bathroom-vanity-makeovers/

9. Popcorn Ceiling Removal: Popcorn is great for movies, but not so much on your ceilings. For some, popcorn or textured ceilings offer some sound dampening in an otherwise large and noisy space. For many – especially buyers – it’s an outdated reminder of years gone by and needs to be removed completely. Believe it or not, it is possible to remove it yourself, albeit a messy and uncomfortable process. Here’s a tutorial I really like to get the job done on your own: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktO8VMdH_04 *NOTE: If your home was built prior to the most recent decade, you’ll want to be sure the material you are removing does not contain Asbestos fibers. I strongly encourage an asbestos test before you tackle this project! 

Overall, this is certainly not a comprehensive list of projects you can tackle during your days at home. There are many different design and style projects you can explore that will add some level of value to your home when the time comes to put it on the market. 

Let it not go without saying that during these trying times, the most important thing for you to do is remove yourself from harm’s way, love your neighbors as best you can, and do your part to help those who cannot help themselves in this time of need

If you are considering selling your home or making a move in the near future, give me a call at 919-880-5563 or email steven@costellorei.com to schedule a free online consultation. Alternatively, you can obtain a free market analysis on your home here: http://stevensquires.costellorei.com/sellers/free-market-analysis/


Steven D. Squires, Jr. is a Broker/REALTOR®, SPS® with Costello Real Estate & Investments, LLC. in Raleigh, NC.  

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.