If you want to put your house on the market as soon as lockdown is lifted, there are plenty of things you can be doing around the house, so you’re ready to go.
One of the most important things you can do even before you put it on the market is to make it suitable for buyers. Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves in your home, and there are some easy ways DIY tasks you can do now to prepare for the future.
Why it’s worth doing DIY tasks now
You might think that if you’re selling your home, there’s no point investing time, effort and money into repairs and DIY. But there are several reasons why you should spend your time in lockdown fixing up your house to sell.
As we’ve already mentioned, buyers need to imagine themselves in your home. That means you have to create a muted canvas that they can project their personality onto.
Taking care of those tasks you’ve always been meaning to do can also influence the offers and selling price. The fewer repairs viewers can see, the more likely they are to offer asking price. This is a particularly important point right now because, due to lockdown, no one can predict how the market will react once safety restrictions are lifted. So getting as close to your asking price is essential.
Repairing visible damage also indicates to buyers that the house is looked after. It implies that there will be no significant damage that could cost a lot of money on in the future.
The more you do to improve your house, the quicker it will sell and the more likely you are to reach your asking price.
Easy DIY tasks to do during lockdown
1. Fill cracks and holes
Cracks are a normal part of a house settling but they can draw the eye, especially if someone is looking closely at your home.
Have a careful look for holes and cracks that need filling. Pay close attention to the ceiling and joints between walls. You can paint over some hairline cracks, but others will need filler.
Clean the crack, making sure you get rid of any loose debris and apply the filler. Smooth it out and let it dry. Once dry, lightly sand it to blend it in and paint over it if needs be.
2. Repair what you can
Any small repairs you can make will make a big difference; this includes the jobs you’ve been meaning to get around to!
Oil hinges, repair cupboard doors, straighten shelves and fix scuffs in the floor.
Even if a piece of furniture is damaged that you’re going to take with you, like a wardrobe, it’s still a good idea to fix it. Ultimately if there is visible damage, it needs to be repaired.
Light switches and plug sockets can yellow over time and start to look grimy. Fortunately, replacing them is quick and easy.
Don’t forget to inspect the exterior of your house too. Make sure drains and guttering aren’t blocked and there are no cracks. Double-check your fence for damage and if needs be, give it a lick of paint too.
3. Clean everything
While you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, your house will benefit from a deep clean. This means that as soon as lockdown is lifted, you can put your property on the market and start inviting viewers.
Now is a great time to look at bigger jobs, like cleaning your grout and sealant. You can buy mould remover and grout cleaner online, which makes this job much more manageable.
If you’re lucky enough to have a carpet cleaner, do that too. Cleaning the carpet just before bed will mean that it can dry safely without your socks getting wet! There are home remedies too, but it will involve a lot of scrubbing so you might want to wait until lockdown is over and hire a professional to help.
If there are marks on your walls from food splatter or water, clean them up with an all-purpose cleaner or try sugar soap to get rid of the grease. Sugar soap is generally great for cutting through grease, so ideal for cleaning the fronts of your kitchen cabinets. If you can’t get the marks off your wall, tester pots can cover up small patches.
Don’t forget to pay attention to the outside of your home too. If you have a power washer, wash your masonry including your driveway and any patios too. Not only will it leave your house looking good, but it’s also really satisfying too!
Once lockdown is lifted, if you can afford it, consider hiring a cleaner once a fortnight or so while your viewings are ongoing. This means that you’ll only have to run the vacuum around before a viewing and know your house looks its best.
4. Paint, paint, paint
Painting is one of the most effective ways you can turn your home into a blank canvas. We know you might love your red walls, but it can be tough for prospective buyers to look past them.
Neutrals are the easiest ways to help this out. Whites and creams or tasteful muted colours will help your viewers picture themselves in your home.
This is a job that you can do over time, so focus on the other DIY tasks first before moving onto painting.
Introducing neutrals doesn’t mean you have to cut back on personality completely. It’s still fine to have family photos, cushions, blankets and plants dotted around to show that your home is lived in.
Don’t forget about your front door too! It’s the first impression, so it needs to look good. If it needs a lick of paint, choose a colour that’s in keeping with the rest of the area.
5. Consider what you want to do after lockdown
If you know you want to sell your property within the next year or so, there are a couple of more significant things you can plan that will add value to your home, including:
- Improving your central heating
- Install double glazing
- Add en-suite facilities
- Ensure your walls and lofts are well insulated
So, take a look around your house and see what you can repair or neutralise and start thinking about the future.
If you’re thinking about selling your property, find out how we’re helping landlords, sellers, tenants, and buyers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.