The popularity of home improvement TV shows has raised buyer’s expectations of what properties should look like, but home sellers aren’t necessarily the trained pros seen on HGTV. There are certain home improvement tasks inexperienced sellers should stay away from just as there are easier ways to spruce up a house even an inexperienced DIYer should be able to handle.

Floors

DIY: Use a cleaner specific to your flooring or rent a steam cleaner for homes with carpet. Hardware stores will often rent steam cleaners and the needed chemicals. If you’re more ambitious, floor polishers can also be rented.

Don’t: Sanding, stripping, or refinishing a floor should be left to the pros. Right before you’re trying to list a home isn’t the best time to learn how to lay new flooring, either.

Interiors

DIY: Change out old window coverings, replace light bulbs, touch up or patch drywall, and check off all the small fixes on your list. This is also a good time to do a really deep clean.

Don’t: Large painting projects, drywall replacement, electrical work beyond your comfort zone, or installing cabinets or countertops should be handled by professionals. 

Outside

DIY: Weed the yard, change out small plants, replace old mulch or barriers, and fertilize. Toss old outdoor furniture, organize any storage, and clean the grill or outdoor kitchen space.

Don’t: If you want your trees to still be attractive after pruning, hire a professional. Laying sod, installing or fixing sprinkler systems, exterior painting, and roof repairs are also best handled by pros.

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