Every home improvement show on TV will tell you how easy it is to improve your home on a budget. As you flip through the channels on the weekend, you will see countless DIY home improvement projects that will inspire you to break out the hammer and revitalize your space. But BEWARE – While not all DIY home improvement projects end in disaster, some projects can actually harm home sales because buyers see these “improvements” as things they will need to make once they buy the house.
If you are considering selling you home in the near future, it’s important to realize that potential buyers may not be as impressed with your handiwork as you are. Here is our line up of DIY projects to avoid; affectionately known as DIY-Don’ts!
1. Garage Conversion
While it is no secret that potential homebuyers love the extra square footage, they absolutely DO NOT want it in the garage. Most buyers will plan to “unconvert” a game room back to space for their cars or storage before escrow even closes! This does not apply to ADU’s (Accessory Dwelling Units) which can add value to your home.
2. New Doors
New doors can add beauty to any room, but if they are not mounted correctly, they land on the top of a new buyer’s list of things to fix. This may seem like an easy do it yourself upgrade but trust us – leave this DIY home improvement project to the professionals.
3. Uneven Hardware
This has to be the most common DIY home improvement don’t! Mainly because it’s so inexpensive to do. You can buy new handles for your cabinets at any store and screw them right on in less than 10 minutes. But if you do choose to upgrade the hardware on anything, make sure that it is level and lines up evenly.
4. Crown Molding
To the everyday DIYer, crown molding may seem like an easy upgrade, but it is not. Adding elegant crown molding is very difficult and if not done properly, ends up looking sloppy. There is great deal of measuring and cutting involved in the installation process of crown molding. Do your research and hire an experienced professional to get this done for you.
5. Painting to Hide Problems
No matter where you stand on this one, cracks, gaps, and surface defects only look worse when covered with fresh paint. Sellers always think that the fresh coat of paint on top of the huge crack in the wall makes it less noticeable but it actually does the exact opposite. Paint on top of untreated blemishes only makes them stand out more so do yourself a favor and resist the urge to paint anything before repairing.
6. Kitchen Cabinets
Old, worn cabinets should always be replaced if possible. This should be the one investment you make before you put your home on the market since kitchens are always on the top of every homebuyer’s list. Replacing the cabinets in your kitchen will make it more attractive. But if you paint the old cabinets, it will only accentuate the dated look.
Choose Your DIY Home Improvement Projects Wisely
Every seller knows they need to freshen their home and add curb appeal before they list their home. But before you launch into a frenzied weekend of DIY home improvement projects, consult with a professional real estate agent and make sure you don’t make things worse in the eyes of your potential buyers.
Arianne Ortiz is a skilled and client-focused real estate and marketing professional from the South Bay area of Los Angeles. She attended Cal State University Dominguez Hills and earned her MBA from University of Phoenix.
Ari became a licensed realtor in 2019 and sold millions in real estate using the experience and expertise she gained working in the marketing industry. She is extremely passionate about the magic of marketing, storytelling and the power of influence.
Ari is a mom to two daughters and the cutest Shih Tzu ever, Louie! She is an incurable optimist who enjoys personal development, traveling, trying new hotspots with her husband and hosting family gatherings at her home in the San Fernando Valley.