- Homebuyer interest is soaring across the US, making for very competitive markets.
- There are things you can do yourself to increase the value of your home in this market.
- Realtor.com's deputy editor, Rachel Stults, co-hosts the 'House Party' podcast, on the intersection of pop culture and real estate, and design trends are always top of mind.
- Stults gave Business Insider five quick ways sellers can quickly increase the value of their homes.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Homebuyer demand across the country is soaring.
For some sellers, depending on the location, there's never been a better time to list. However, while markets are heating up, there's no telling how long that will last given the current economic climate. So those eager to list might not have a whole lot of time to fix up their spaces.
Business Insider spoke with Realtor.com's deputy editor and housing expert, Rachel Stults, to find out which relatively quick DIY projects most increase the value of a home.
Stults is a nearly seven-year veteran of the definitive real estate website and c0-hosts the "House Party" podcast, on the intersection of real estate and pop culture. Design trends are always on the list of topics.
Throughout her career, Stults said, she's found that several relatively simple DIY projects can help bump ROI.
"Even if you aren't the handiest of homeowners, there are several DIY projects that you can do that can add value to your home."
Her tips take into account all areas of the home, but she said the kitchen and bathrooms are essential areas of focus.
"They are arguably more important than ever, I would focus heavily on those places," she said.
Keep reading for the five DIY tips that will help increase the value of your home.
1. Give your interior a fresh coat of paint
As Stults explained, painting can be one of the easiest DIY projects to tackle.
"It gives your space a completely fresh look, and can make it look years newer," she told Business Insider.
This type of project can be tackled over a weekend, depending on how many rooms the homeowner is looking to repaint. As Stults put it, two of the most important rooms in the house for buyers are the kitchen and the bathroom. So, even if the walls don't need a fresh coat of paint, furniture can be stained and cabinets can be painted to give a room a newer look.
"If you're hoping to sell, maybe don't go too bold with the color that you choose," Stults cautioned. "Stick to neutral in order to appeal to potential buyers."
2. Give the outside a newer, cleaner look
Curb appeal is crucial, Stults explained. People are spending more time at home, so there is a big outdoor appeal.
"First impressions are everything," she continued. So it's important to keep the front yard and exterior of the house in good shape. It will increase the homeowner's ROI.
A few ways to boost the outside of a home is to clear out clutter from the yard, plant some shrubs and flowers, and add some LED lighting to the front yard, along the walkway and front porch.
In addition, Stults said to focus on the front door, which can brighten up the entire exterior of the house. It can be as simple as adding a fresh coat of paint to it.
3. Create more usable space
Storage is everything, Stults said. "Anything you can do to carve out space in places you might not have it already."
"If you want to put in closet organizers, that's going to show buyers what you can do with that space," she continued.
4. Create a makeshift home office, or dedicate unused space to a home office
With working from home a new normal for many, prospective homebuyers are on the lookout for homes with home offices.
Stults suggested that if there is a place in the home that isn't being used, like a guest room or a nook, homeowners should consider turning that into a home office for showings. This can be as simple as placing a desk in the open space.
5. Swap out light fixtures
"That old chandelier that you have above your dining room table, that's an easy swap," Stults said.
In addition, Stults suggested removing heavy curtains so that more natural light can be let into the home. Changing up window treatments can make a space feel more airy and brighter.
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