For those of us who are not frontline workers and thus spending more time at home, it can be challenging to keep up productivity and find goals to work towards. If you are lucky enough to have both time and resources, take advantage and make small improvements to your home! Largely cosmetic, these relatively inexpensive tasks boost value as Buyers prefer to pay for upgrades that they can see. Whether for resale or simply your own enjoyment, these simple at-home DIY’s will keep you busy and leave you feeling a sense of accomplishment!
Not sure where to start? Consider giving your Realtor a video walkthrough of your home! We are trained to look at the small details that Buyers will notice and comment on and can direct your time and money to the projects that will give you the best return on your investment.
‘Marie Kondo’ Your Space
Clutter distracts Buyers from your home’s selling features and gives the impression that the home lacks storage! Consider ordering simple systems for your closet and drawer interiors, as well as your garage (if you have one). If you live in a condo, utilize under bed storage!
Lome Irwin Tip: take advantage of re-use centers in your area that offer convenient pickup and drop off services.
It may seem like an obvious one, but there is a difference between a basic cleaning and a ‘show-ready’ cleaning. A show-ready cleaning involves anything from scrubbing your baseboards and appliance interiors, to booking exterior window cleaning and power washing your driveway!
Lome Irwin Tip: Stay away from strong scents, such as plug-in air fresheners.
The Two ‘P’s (Paint & Popcorn)
Unequivocally, fresh paint (well done) is the best return on investment for most properties regardless of the type or size! Choose a neutral colour that would appeal to a wide range of Buyers. This is also a great time to smooth those retro popcorn ceilings! While this is a messy and laborious job, the result will be worth it.
Lome Irwin Tip: Be mindful of the paint finish! A semi-gloss is best for baseboards as it is easier to clean. Go for satin in high-traffic areas (foyer, family room) and eggshell in lower-traffic areas (dining room, master bedroom). Always choose flat for ceilings as it tends to hide imperfections.
Repair / Maintain
Take an inventory of the small repair jobs required throughout your home. Even something as simple as a leaky faucet, broken window seal, or missing downspout extension could come up in a home inspection. When routine maintenance isn’t kept, Buyers start to wonder what larger issues might be lurking beneath the surface!
Lome Irwin Tip: Have a virtual pre-list home inspection! There’s no better feeling than your home passing a Buyer’s inspection with flying colours.
Light it Up
Did you know that there are different types of colour temperatures for lightbulbs?! From soft white to bright/cool light to daylight, each colour temperature has an application that it is appropriate for, and good lighting design should keep this in mind. The lighting required in a utilitarian space such as a bathroom or kitchen will differ from the requirements of a living room or bedroom. Do your research and switch out some bulbs (ideally to LEDs!).
Lome Irwin Tip: If your space allows, switch out over-mount lighting for dual wall sconces. Side lighting is more flattering and preferable for activities such as makeup application!
Upgrade Kitchens & Baths
We all know the old adage ‘kitchens and bathrooms sell homes’ and guess what – it’s generally true! You do not necessarily need to spend a fortune on a full remodel to attract Buyers to your home. Consider upgrading cabinet hardware, installing a backsplash, or switching out a basic shower head for a rain one!
Lome Irwin Tip: Hardware goes through trends in the same way that fashion does (aren’t we all loving this season’s chic brass and matte black?!). Check Pinterest for inspiration but keep in mind the overall aesthetic and vintage of your home when selecting hardware styles and finishes. Think updated – not out of place!
Supersize your Home
We don’t mean literally – you can give the impression of space and add ‘visual square footage’ with some pretty simple adjustments. Think lighter paint colours, removing heavy draperies, and placing mirrors strategically, to name a few.
Lome Irwin Tip: Carefully consider your furniture. Stay away from heavy, oversized pieces. Try pieces that don’t take up any visual space, such as a glass coffee table or acrylic dining chairs.
Improve Curb Appeal
Your home’s exterior truly is a Buyer’s first impression. Like a first date, you always want to put your best foot forward! Incorporate some simple landscaping, resurface the driveway, or invest in a new front door.
Lome Irwin Tip: Consider bringing in an arborist to clean up dead tree branches and assess the overall health of the trees on your property.
Year over year, new and exciting technology is emerging in the home and lifestyle space. You don’t need to break the bank to ‘smarten up’ your home. Try installing dimmers and automating your lighting or switch out your traditional thermostat for a Smart hub.
Lome Irwin Tip: Invest in a smart lock. Keyless convenience is not only great for your forgetful spouse! The ability to change the code allows for easy, secure showings.
Bring the Indoors Out
Outdoor ‘living rooms’ have surged in popularity in recent years, especially those that can accommodate three-seasons. If you lack the space or resources (or permit!) for this, make the most of your existing deck or patio. Exterior staging is equally as important as its interior counterpart. As the weather warms, help Buyers envision themselves enjoying their morning coffee or dining al-fresco!
Lome Irwin Tip: For condo dwellers, consider looking into balcony deck tiles to cover that cold concrete!