As a DIYer, now is the perfect time to think about any projects that got lost in the shuffle during 2018. If you’d love to move to a new home, making a few specific new year’s resolutions can help you complete the ultimate DIY project: selling your current home on your own. Make the following five resolutions and chances are you’ll thank yourself this time next year.
1. Understand Your Home’s Value
Before you go all in on selling your home yourself in the new year, make sure your home can fetch the price you want. To do that, use our Pricing Scout tool to get the estimated market value of your home and see what nearby homes are selling for. If the estimate comes up short of expectations, see if there are any DIY upgrades you can make to increase your home’s value. You may also decide to wait until your local housing market heats up.
2. Set Your “Sell By” Date
Deadlines are great motivators and can help you create a timeline for your DIY home selling to-dos. Think about your ideal season to move – maybe it’s in the summer before school starts or during the fall after a long vacation from work. Also, evaluate your situation and decide which should come first: buying a new home or selling your own home first. After you consider all the logistics, circle a “sell by” date on the calendar and work backwards to map out all the milestones of the home selling process. Check out our Simple Selling Steps blog to create your roadmap and get some tips for selling your home.
3. Fix What Needs Fixin’ Yourself
Most major upgrades won’t net a positive return on investment. However, there are several DIY projects you can take on to raise your home’s value and sell faster. In addition to repairing any small flaws like dents in the drywall or leaky faucets, painting the interior and exterior of your home is the obvious one. Think lighter colors and neutrals, which often help homes sell quicker.
Kitchens are a big selling point, but remodeling is pricey and time-consuming. Go for cheaper upgrades instead, like new laminate flooring, faucets, fixtures or appliances. Also consider installing a new entry door – one of the few projects that typically nets a nice return on investment.
4. Do a Deep Clean
Making your home attractive to buyers will probably involve some decluttering. No need to start packing yet, but it’s a good idea to donate clothes taking up room in the back of your closet and retire unused items to the trash. When the time comes to show your home, you’ll want to remove personal photos and belongings, which can distract buyers trying to imagine the home as their own.
As for cleaning, you should go beyond weekly dusting and vacuuming. Wash the windows inside and out, wax the floors, replace dirty grout and clean or replace worn rugs and carpeting. It’s also a good idea to give the exterior of your home a thorough power-washing. Keep in mind: you don’t need to make your home look brand new. Instead, the goal should be ensuring it doesn’t look worn down.
5. Start the Home Selling Process
After you check off each resolution to get your home sell-ready, your last new year’s resolution is taking the plunge. Solidify your asking price, take some photos to highlight your home’s best features (or have a professional photographer do it for you) and advertise where more than half of buyers find their home – online. Half the battle of selling your home on your own is simply getting it in shape and in front of potential buyers. From there, you can use online resources to help you stage your home, negotiate with buyers, get the real estate forms you’ll need and successfully close on your home like a true do-it-yourselfer.