Make Your Property Stand Out: Two Major Home Projects to Attract Buyers

Whether the housing market is in a buyer’s or seller’s period, it is always recommended to sell your house quickly. A quicker sale helps build buyer interest quickly, increasing the number of potential buyers and raising the price of offers. However, speeding up your home’s sale is more than just a matter of timing — the way you prepare the house has an effect on how quickly buyers will become interested. After you have chosen a good time to sell and acquired a listing agent who fits your selling criteria, you are ready to undertake some simple projects to help sell your home quickly.

Develop Curb Appeal

There are two major categories of DIY projects to sell your house: projects to grab the attention of potential buyers and projects to land the sale. Both types are important for the selling process to go smoothly. The first order of business when trying to secure the attention of prospective buyers is to beautify your front yard. Often referred to as “curb appeal,” improving the landscaping in the front is important because it forms each prospective buyer’s first impression of the house. About 70 percent of buyers say that landscaping comprises a major part of their initial decision to consider a house at all. If buyers enter the house having already felt positive emotions toward the house, a significant portion of the sale will have already been achieved.

To avoid spending too much on your landscaping, take a cursory look at your neighbors. If their yards are poorly maintained, you don’t have to go to great lengths to beautify yours — simple maintenance (mowing the lawn, clearing debris) will do. However, if each house in your neighborhood is well maintained, the bar is set higher. You should still begin by clearing all debris and clutter out of your yard. Try adding a flowerbed or two near the curb to brighten up the walkway with a range of color. Put some mulch in the bed and around any trees or other large plants in your yard to make them stand out even more. You may want to add a fresh coat of paint to your house’s exterior, particularly if the house is older.

Fix Up the Interior

The other category of DIY projects is the process of fixing up the house to land a sale. Think of it as a precursor to staging. If there are any broken, scratched, or otherwise imperfect parts of the house, like a drawer that is off its tracks or a cabinet door that won’t shut all the way, take the time to fix them. Remember that you have probably become accustomed to these imperfections, but buyers will be seeing them as potentially deal-breaking flaws. Make sure the plumbing and electrical systems are in good condition. As with the exterior, if the walls or cabinets are showing signs of age, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders. If you have the time and extra funds, replacing old carpet with new hardwood floors can modernize the look of your house and increase its value. Similarly, replacing faucets and knobs in your home can improve buyers’ impressions.

Once your DIY projects have concluded, it’s time to clean. Every home should be deeply cleaned before it is opened up for tours, but only about 10 percent of sellers clean adequately. Start by clearing your floors, walls, cabinets, and other open surfaces. Any clutter should be put in its proper place, stored outside the home, or thrown away. Then, clean every surface — not only the floors and counters but every available spot in the house, from the windows to the ceilings. Don’t forget about light switches, fan blades, and light bulbs.

Market Your Home Online

The final step is to market your home. Take the highest quality photos you can or hire a professional. Once you have posted the listing online, the images will be the first and arguably most important impression each prospective buyer will have before deciding to tour the house itself. You can promote your listing on a blog, website, or on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Selling a home can be complicated, but the process is easier when your home is beautiful and clean. By improving the exterior and interior, you will be able to draw buyers in while increasing the value of your home.


Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.