Jill M. Banks of Happily Better After Room Redesign & Home Staging suggests using baking soda as a way to fight odors: "Baking soda is a natural odor neutralizer, so if a spot in the carpet still smells funky after cleaning, try sprinkling some baking soda on it, leave it for 15 minutes or so, then vacuum."
She says baking soda can also be used in garbage disposals, trash cans, washing machines and refrigerators to knock out mystery smells.
4. Resurfacing cabinets
Replacing your cabinets is undoubtedly a major expense and will likely require a professional to complete. Resurfacing your cabinets is a cost-effective way to spruce up your kitchen, though.
Design expert Kathy Peterson offers the following steps to a perfect cabinet:
- Step 1: Remove hardware, doors and drawers.
- Step 2: Clean the surface.
- Step 3: Deglaze it with liquid sand, then clean again.
- Step 4: Paint and, depending on the style you're looking for, add a tint over the paint (design kits can help you with this).
5. Baseboard repairs
The baseboards in your home are subject to plenty of wear and tear over the years. To make some easy repairs, Frank Foti, business manager adviser for Mr. Handyman, offers these tips:
6. Nail-hole repairs
- Strike nails flush with face of trim board using a nail punch or awl tool.
- Patch holes and/or small cracks/dents with wood filler; sand; re-paint.
- Caulk or re-caulk top of trim to wall .
While nail holes are hard to notice, buyers typically inspect every inch of the house. You don't want to let a small nail hole dissuade potential buyers. Here are more simple suggestions for Foti:
- Step 1: In drywall/plaster, use a four-inch drywall knife to apply drywall spackle.
- Step 2: On trim, use fingers to apply wood filler.
- Step 3: Repaint.
Speaking of caulking, the grout in your bathroom or shower is likely to become moldy and dirty. To re-caulk, consider Foti's tips:
8. Spruce up your appliances
- Step 1: Make sure the area to be caulked is clean, dry and free of debris and contaminants.
- Step 2: Fashion the correct size of tube opening for the desired size bead of caulk (cut tube tip for a small opening initially).
- Step 3: Ensure the proper tube is bought for the job at hand: latex (interior), acrylic (exterior/kitchen/bath) or silicon (kitchen/bath, not intended to be painted).
- Step 4: The gap between surfaces to be caulked should not exceed one-fourth to three-eighths of an inch. Use backer rod for larger gaps.
- Step 5: Allow caulk to set-up/cure according to manufacturer recommendations before exposing to water.
- Step 6:Use a slightly damp rag to smooth excess caulking from your project.
Instead of replacing older appliances that work for the sole purpose of having a more updated kitchen, update their knobs — its costs less and adds some “curb appeal.”
For tips on how to complete this DIY project, we turned to Steve Ash, senior repairman at PartSelect.com for advice.
"You can remove most knobs and replaced them without using any tools, or with minimal use of needlenose pliers," he says.
As for how to complete the project, here are his steps:
9. Changing a handle
- Step 1: Grip the old knob and pull it from the knob shaft gently but firmly.
- Step 2: Check to ensure the metal or plastic insert of the knob remains in the knob, not on the shaft.
- Step 3: Press the new knob onto the shaft (some knobs screw into place.) A knob or dial that screws in is generally used when the function of the knob is a push or pull as opposed to a turn. For these types you will screw the dial on and off instead of sliding.
Believe it or not, changing an appliance's handle is slightly different. Here are Ash's steps:
- Step 1: Before you start, check to see how the old handle is attached. There will be at least two screws holding the handle onto the appliance. In some cases, there may be a keyhole slot as well.
- Step 2: Remove the screws and remove the old handle gently to avoid damaging or scratching the door.
- Step 3: Replace the handle, starting with the keyhole slot if there is one, followed by the screws.
- Step 4: Secure the screws tightly.
10. Clean out those closets
And a final DIY project that doesn't require any tools or experience: Cleaning out your closets.
"While shoving everything into a closet has been your go-to clean-up plan since your teen years, potential buyers will undoubtedly look behind every door in your home. Keep bedroom, linen closets and storage spaces neat and tidy to avoid any embarrassing surprises," advises Sure Fit creative director Sheryl Boltze.
Scott Gamm is the founder of HelpSaveMyDollars.com. He has appeared on NBC's Today, MSNBC and CNN. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.