By: Guest Author, Virginia REALTORS® Project Manager & Content Manager, Laura Jones

A butcherblock countertop can be gorgeous… unless it turns into a DIY nightmare as the boards warp, causing your prospective buyers to head for the hills at the thought of having to install new countertops. As you’ve probably experienced, the magic of television production has given far too many folks unrealistic expectations about home renovations and sales. If you have a client with DIY bootstrap ambitions, here is some helpful advice you can pass along.

Avoid Painting Pitfalls: Tell them that every minute of prep work (like taping the trim and removing outlet covers) will pay off dividends in the end. Yes, color and finish are important, but a high-quality paint job with a less-than-desirable color is a lot easier to sell than a sloppy mess.

Steer Clear of Trends: Don’t let your clients jump on the biggest trend of the times! Think about all of those avocado-colored bathrooms from the 1970s and how hard it is to update (and sell!). Your client’s impulse to jump on a trend might hurt your resale later when they go to move, so offer up a few classic suggestions instead.

Let the Pros Do the Floors: If your client really wants to do flooring themselves, recommend they invest in renting quality tools to help them and that they pay attention to the moldings. A gap in the molding sticks out like a sore thumb.

Pick the Right Products: Have your clients consider their lifestyle before they pick products­ for their home—especially their flooring. A dark hardwood floor looks stunning, but it will show every strand of fallen pet hair and will probably scratch like crazy.