With the housing slump in recent years and many banks still refusing to lend, it should come as no surprise that homeowners who are trying to sell are waiting for months on the market, while buyers try to find homes that are sandwiched between their dream home and something that is affordable. Making significant home improvements is the best way for those who are trying to find a buyer faster. Below are some tips for easy DIY projects to modernize your home and make it more appealing to prospective buyers.


1.    Make a good first impression.

First impressions count for a lot in anything in life, and selling your home is no different. Creating an impressive and welcoming entrance is one of the most effective ways to get your home sold faster.

  • Remove any weeds and make sure plants, trees, and shrubs are neatly trimmed and not overgrown.
  • If the address number at the entrance to your home is old and worn, replace it with a modern one.
  • Give your front door a new coat of paint and don’t over-decorate.
  • Keep your entrance free from any clutter to give prospective buyers a pleasant first impression.


2.    Apply mulch on the front and back yards.

Applying a one-to-three inch layer of mulch is a cheap way to make your home more appealing to visitors. Be careful to not apply too much--not to exceed four inches--or roots will start to grow in the mulch and not the soil. Also make sure that the mulch is not too close to the trunk or base of any plant to avoid causing any decay.


3.    Eliminate any odors.

Living in your home, you probably won’t notice any odors that there may be, but people unfamiliar to the house will. A great way to eliminate odors is by using baking soda as it is a natural odor neutralizer. Use it on any spots on the carpet that may be trapping in a mysterious smell, the refrigerator, garbage disposal, trash can, washing machine, dishwasher and anywhere else that may produce an unwanted odor.


4.    Resurface cabinets.

It can be expensive to replace full units completely, which is a step most will be unwilling to take when they’re looking to sell their house anyway. Resurfacing them, however, is a much cheaper way of bringing your kitchen up to par. Remove any hardware, doors and handles and clean the surface, then deglaze the surface with liquid sand and clean it once again. Apply a fresh paint of coat to give your cabinet a perfect, good-as-new look.


5.    Repair baseboards.

As years go by, the baseboards in your home will begin to show signs of wear and tear. You should make sure these are repaired before showing any prospective buyer around your house. Ensure that all nails are flush with the surface and patch any holes or cracks that have appeared before repainting. Caulk the top of the trim to the wall if need be.


6.    Patch nail holes.

There’s a good chance that while living in your home, you’ve come to ignore nail holes, or just not notice them at all. They are only small, after all. Don’t assume that potential buyers will overlook them like you do. They will be inspecting every inch of your house, so make sure they are taken care of. Apply drywall spackle to cover nail holes in drywall or plaster using a four-inch drywall knife and to cover nail holes in trim, use fingers to cover with wood filler. Once you are sure that all nail holes have been successfully filled, repaint the surfaces.


 7.    Do some caulking.

Grout in the kitchen, shower, or bathroom is likely to become moldy, which is sure to put off any prospective buyers. Re-caulk the area by first making sure it is clean, dry, and free of any contaminants. Ensure the correct tube is being used for the surface-- latex for interior, acrylic for exterior, kitchen or bath or silicon for the kitchen or bath if you are not intending on repainting. The gaps between the surfaces you are caulking should be no bigger than one-fourth to three-eighths of an inch. Allow the caulk to set up or cure before exposing the area to any water and use a damp rag to wipe away any excess.


8.    Spruce up your appliances.

Just like with the cabinets, replacing kitchen appliances is a costly expense and unnecessary if you’re only improving to sell and they are in working condition. Replacing the knobs and handles on them, however, is significantly cheaper and can make a huge difference. Give your appliances shiny new knobs and handles and wow prospective buyers that way!


 9.    Declutter your closets.

Remember the tip from earlier about keeping the entrance free from clutter? You should do the same with your closets. Potential buyers will explore every inch of the house. Keep your closets neat and tidy and avoid any mess or clutter. Following these quick, cheap, and easy steps to home improvement, before letting anybody view your house, will greatly improve your chances of impressing and reeling in a buyer. If you want to sell your house faster, take on a little DIY and spruce up your house, and a sale will be a lot closer than you may think.