DIY or Hire a Professional?
In the world of real estate there are a lot of things that can be done on your own. Whether you are buying or selling, many of the items on the to-do list can be handled by the most inexperienced weekend warrior. On the other hand, there are some tasks and projects that are best left to the professional. Here are some examples:
- Clean and De-clutter
It may not be fun, but there’s probably not anyone else who can do a better job at this than you. You know what you are willing to get rid of, donate, and things that just need to be packed up and stored. When it comes to cleaning, enlist the help of a friend or family member and make it fun. Turn up the music and get scrubbing!
This is one that you may need a professional to help with but for the most basic paint projects, a fresh coat can make all the difference. If you are short on cash, you can definitely handle this one on your own.
- Minor handyman projects (patch small drywall holes, adjust door hinges)
Big box often have free classes on how to do small projects to save money and hardware stores are typically more than willing to explain how to do something and make sure you have the right supplies.
- Change light bulbs
The only exception to this one would be if the bulbs are too high to safely reach with a ladder – or you are deathly afraid of heights.
- Changing door and cabinet hardware
This can really change the look of a room and be fairly inexpensive depending on the product choice. Tip: To make it easy, get the exact same size and make sure the hole sizes are the same, otherwise, it will be a much more involved project than it needs to be.
- Home Inspection
You would think this would be common knowledge, but DO NOT try to save money by performing your own inspections or forego them completely. Even if you are a builder or contractor yourself, you may not know enough about all the systems and codes to make a good judgement on your personal property. It is wise to pay a professional who has insurance and leave the worry to them.
- Mold remediation
In humid climates, there are a lot of mold spores that fly around and often times, it turns into some organisms in the crawl space. Even if you read online about how it can be cleaned I recommend a company that deals with this one a daily basis. They use chemicals that are meant to destroy the organism and use techniques to help prevent it from coming back. Most offer a warranty as well, which protects you and a potential new owner.
- Septic tank cleaning/draining
Does this one really need an explanation? In fact, tip the contractor extra.
- Roof repair
Unless you are a licensed roofer, most Buyers will not feel comfortable with “handyman Joe” fixing a leaky roof. Even if you are a roofer, it is best to keep the liability as far away from you as possible.
- Electrical work
There are only a few things scarier than an electrical repair done incorrectly. You do not want the liability or the guilt should something be a safety hazard because of a faulty repair.
There are many more items we could put on these lists. You can hire a professional for everything from changing a light bulb to packing and moving but just be smart about what you do yourself. Some people will look for any excuse to come back on a Seller and if you’re the Buyer, you want someone else on the hook if you find some items afterward that should have been found during the escrow period.
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur baby, Tyler, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.