buying a house in Arizona
We’ve got some bad news. Selling your home is about more than just slapping pictures online and waiting for the offers to pour in. It requires strategy, patience, and hard work. Luckily, there are a host of easy, DIY improvement projects that can help you sell your home and sell it quickly.

Do I really need to fix the place up?

Contrary to what you’ve seen on HGTV, not everyone is looking for a “charming fixer-upper” that just needs a little “elbow grease” to “really shine”. (Yes, those quotes are meant to be ironic.) True, nearly 60% of homebuyers surveyed in 2019 by said they were open to a house that needed renovations. But those homes sold for significantly less per square foot than homes in good condition. And millennials—now the largest buying group in real estate—are overwhelmingly looking for move-in ready homes, with 78% listing it as a top priority.

Of course, the amount of work you need to complete depends on your home’s condition. If the roof is in shambles, the attic is full of possums, and the gutter is hanging on by a thread, you’re gonna need more than a fresh coat of paint to seal the deal. But if the projects are less about health and safety and more about attracting the right buyer, how do you get the most bang for your time, money, and energy? We’ve got these home improvement projects ranked from easy to ambitious.

#1: Faucets & Fixtures

When it’s time to sell your home, the devil’s in the details. While it’s easy to gloss over the small things—like faucets and fixtures—in your day-to-day life, potential buyers will be seeing your space for the first time. And every little thing counts. As far as DIY projects go, it doesn’t get much simpler than updating your faucets and simple fixtures like light fixtures, switches, ceiling fans, and doorknobs.

Of course, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of swapping out faucets and fixtures if your home is an older build with a lot of original hardware. If it adds to your home’s character, you may want to leave it. Still, we’d recommend giving everything a good polish or looking into more intensive restoration techniques to put the shine back in old fixtures.

#2: Get Smart

The modern world runs on connectivity. And smart home tech can be a huge selling point in today’s market. These upgrades could be as simple as installing a lightbulb, or as intensive as contracting a specialist to wire in whole-home automation. But what should you focus on? According to a recent smart home survey, “75 percent [of respondents] want smart smoke detectors, 77 percent want smart thermostats, 63 percent want smart locks, and 66 percent want smart home security cameras. “

When it comes to Arizona real estate, in particular, smart thermostats are on the rise. Folks who call the Phoenix-Scottsdale area home certainly don’t mind the heat. But home should be a refuge. Smart thermostats adjust to your routine, conserving energy and cutting down the energy bill.

When you partner with Resident to sell your home, you get a built-in smart upgrade. We include a free Nest dropcam with each of our listings to ensure your property stays safe and sound throughout the selling process.

#3: Kitchen refresh

Not every kitchen requires a full renovation. But plenty could benefit from fresh cabinetry, counters, or upgraded appliances. And, experts agree that kitchen upgrades rank high on the “low cost, huge return” checklist. Even little things like painting the cabinets and replacing (you guessed it) the fixtures can seriously boost your sale value.

Not interested in all that time sanding, priming, and painting? We’ve got good news. Homes with open shelving sell for 4.2% more than expected. Building your own open shelving ranks as an intermediate-advanced project. But with the right tools and materials, it’s a DIY project with a big payout.

Another relatively easy, low-cost upgrade is replacing the countertops. A word of advice though: keep them as neutral as possible. While you could be crazy about those new, dark granite countertops, your potential buyer could see them as just another thing that they’ll need to replace.

Throw in some new, energy-efficient appliances and you’re set to seriously up your home’s ROI. According to TheStreet, “The payback for this project is 80.5% and has been fairly high since 2014.”

#4: Consider Your Curb Appeal
In real estate, just like in life, first impressions matter. When potential buyers pull up outside your house, you want them to see their future home. And that means investing in your place’s curb appeal. We rank this as a more ambitious project because it can include labor-intensive projects like relandscaping, painting the house, and even replacing your garage and entry doors. But in some cases, curb appeal boils down to simple fixes. If you’re lucky, you can get away with a little pressure washing and call it a day.

When you partner with a Resident agent to sell your home, we’ll help you see it with fresh eyes. Not only can we identify low-cost, high-payoff projects. We can also prioritize the home improvement projects that will make your home competitive in the local market.

#5: Add-ons and Full Renovations
Yes, another bedroom or half-bath can seriously up your home’s sales value. But with this one, it’s essential to weigh the associated costs with the potential benefits. If you’re trying to sell your home, odds are good you don’t want to sink another 6-9 months and thousands of dollars into building a luxury bathroom you’ll never use. Instead, when it comes to big investment, heavy labor projects like add-ons, we recommend keeping it simple.

When it comes to home improvement projects, we all fall on a spectrum. From enthusiastic DIYers to “Nah, I’d rather not”-ers. Maybe you’ve got a collection of drill bits you can’t wait to use. Maybe you’ve never picked up a screwdriver in your life. Either way, Resident agents can work with you to strategize the projects that’ll help sell your house. More importantly, we can help you get them done—whether we’re guiding you to the right resources or connecting you with trusted local contractors.

Contact us to learn more about how Resident is with you through the selling process every step of the way.