3 DIY Projects For Sellers With Huge ROI

Man with dog building kitchen cabinets and using a cordless drill

 How you prepare your home for sale can have a big impact. Get organized with these steps to prepare your home for sale.

Here are three DIY projects for a great return on your investment.


Pressure wash your Historic Home

Would you sell a car without washing it? The same is true for a house. Sometimes a home’s exterior needs a good cleaning. 

We’ve heard painters complain of jobs canceled after pressure washing. It can make that big of a difference.

Your home may not need a paint job, but we’ve found it will always benefit from being clean. 

You can buy an inexpensive pressure washer for less than $100, or rent a higher-quality pressure washer for about $100 a day at Vallejo All Star Rents

Be as gentle as you can!

Using full pressure on a wooden deck or house paint could easily peel the paint. Start with the misting setting, then add more pressure as needed.

Just like with a car wash, you will want to use some suds and a gentle (GENTLE!!) scrub brush (really soft) if you can reach.

Many people don’t realize that Historic doors and windows are usually not sealed. Be careful. Leaking water could cause damage.

If you’re concerned about damage, you can hire a painter to pressure wash your home for you.

If a pressure wash seems like too much work, try a spray down with a garden hose. Just washing off the dust and cobwebs can make a real difference!

If your home has paint that is ready to peel off, don’t use a pressure washer. It is likely to make the problem worse. 

Total yard clean up

Getting the outside of your home prepped for a sale can be easy and fun.

To help you get started we created a Total Yard Clean Checklist for you. 

Start early and hire help as needed. 

You don’t want to take a portrait right after getting a haircut, and it is the same with pruning. It should be one of your first tasks. 

If your photo day is coming in the next few weeks, take it easy on the plants. You want them looking healthy and full. 

Get the junk out, even if it takes a trip to the dump. Don’t forget to clean in front of your home too. 

Vallejo Recology will do a pick up twice per year for all customers at no extra charge. If you need an additional pick up, they will do it for a fee. There are restrictions. You can call them directly at this number (707) 552-3110.

You may want to give the block a quick clean up. We recommend spraying weeds with pure vinegar rather than poison (it is always nice to avoid poison).

Cobwebs on fences, trees and shrubs make the yard look messy and unkempt. Remove them.

A cobweb duster on an extension pole is an inexpensive tool that will come in very handy.  

Here in Vallejo, we can easily go 6 months without rain. Most yards are dustier than you think. A good spray down will go a long way to spruce up your yard.

Depending on the season, it may be time to plant some flowers. If you have a few weeks before you list, use water soluble fertilizer to help your plants look their best.

Operation Declutter

Imagine what it feels like in a total stranger’s home. That’s how buyers feel. It’s very hard for a buyer to relax and feel “at home” in someone else’s space.

Buyers may not feel there is room for them if there is too much of the owner’s stuff in the way.

You are going to pack and move anyway. One of the highest leverage tasks you can do is to pack early.

It seems far-fetched, but we’ve seen buyers looking at walk-in closets full of clothes and saying, “There is no room for my stuff!” as if the sellers were leaving their clothes behind.

Buyers understand your basement, extra bedroom, or garage is filled with boxes. They know you’re moving. 

But for reasons known only to buyers, they won’t understand a full closet. Don’t traumatize  them.

Pack at least half your clothes. Doing this makes closets look spacious.

Remove magnets from your refrigerator, along with the things they are holding up. Clear your counters and shelves of knick-knacks. 

It is important to pack your family photos. If buyers see these photos, it is hard for them to imagine they’re standing in their new home.

Decluttering can be difficult and emotional. It’s not easy to pack up years of memories or figure out what to throw away. 

But a clean, mostly empty home creates space for buyers to dream and hope for the future. Their dreams lead to your sale. 

Get the Road Map

Now you can see the entire listing process with the Seller Road Map Infographic. 

This step-by-step infographic illustrates the sales process from prepping your house to accepting an offer.

Feel confident. Print this infographic to know what to do and when at a glance.



Action Steps

How much ROI can you expect? Download this worksheet.

Want a room-by-room cleaning guide? Try this house cleaning checklist.

If you would like some more insights, read the Guide to a Stress-Free Historic Home Sale.

If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, Download the Prepping Your Home For Sale Checklist.






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Chris Jacobson
Chris Jacobson

I’m Chris Jacobson, a local Vallejo realtor. I love our historic homes.

Office: 707-812-1390 | Cell: 707-805-4014 | BRE 01987892

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