20 Home Improvement Apps to Install Now If You Ever Think of Selling

As you prepare to put your home on the market, your list of home improvement projects only grows: smooth over that chipped paint in the hallway, call the plumber to check the bathroom faucet’s slow drip, and somehow stage the place to look like it’s straight out of a magazine. Shoot! Your only design experience is binging HGTV. There’s got to be a way to make things easier.

Naturally, you head to the one true source of information—your smartphone. But a quick click over to the App Store reveals a whopping 2.2 million options. You need the right needle from a very large haystack, and separating the 1-star duds from thee 5-star rockstars is a job unto itself.

HomeLight combed home improvement best-of lists, consulted trusted tech blogs, tried out apps for ourselves, and talked to pros in real estate to winnow down that haystack. We can’t guarantee every app will be for you, but we divided our search into five main categories that track the greater home sale journey to offer recommendations for tools that can help you every step of the way:

Here’s to finding what you need!

A filter cleaned because of a home improvement app.
Source: (Steve Heap/ Shutterstock)

Home maintenance and upkeep

Home maintenance isn’t nearly as exciting as renovations or design upgrades, but for every dollar you spend on preventive repairs, you’ll save nearly $100 in future repairs. With so much to keep up with in your home, it never hurts to have help. Apps can track the last time you had repairs, or save information on warranties making home upkeep more manageable.

1. HomeZada

Why we recommend it:
Endorsed by Better Homes and Gardens and the Washington Post for its robust offerings and user-friendliness, HomeZada helps you take great care of what’s likely your largest financial asset with tools to help you improve, protect, and maintain every aspect of your house.

When you’ll need it:
Look to HomeZada for a little tech help with the routine upkeep of your home and to manage your costs related to homeownership. It’s so easy to put off maintenance, but HomeZada creates a preventive home maintenance schedule with regular reminders to swap out the air filter or flush the water heater when you need to.

The app allows you to keep digital records of home improvement receipts, so you can stay organized and refer back to past expenses during tax season or when the time comes to sell. Finally, use the app to stay up to speed with the exciting part of homeownership: Building wealth and watching your home’s value grow. HomeZada’s finance app calculates how much equity you have in your home based on your outstanding mortgage balance and provides ongoing estimates of your home’s value.

How to use it: With some information input upfront, HomeZada can work its magic. Each function is set up differently:

  • Home asset inventory:
    Document objects in each room with photos and videos for future reference and home insurance coverage.
  • Home maintenance schedule:
    Using HomeZada’s schedule of over 50 tasks, you can auto-populate your home maintenance calendar with reminders.
  • Home improvement projects:
    Log DIY and contractor remodel projects in the app with HomeZada’s renovation templates.
  • Home finances:
    Catalogue mortgage payments, insurance, utilities, and taxes each month to see your monthly cash flow and get a tailored forecast of your home’s value over time.

Pricing:

  • Essentials Plan (Free) includes the home inventory tool
  • Premium Plan ($59/year) includes essential features plus home maintenance, remodel, and home finance tools
  • Deluxe Plan ($99/year) can include multiple properties on a single account.

Available for: iOS and Android

2. Centriq

Why we recommend it:
Hailed by The New York Times as the new “digital ribbon around your finger” Centriq takes the guesswork out of the age old question “When did I last drain the water heater?” It ensures the upkeep and maintenance of electronics and appliances within your home, and can be the one-stop hub for manuals.

When you’ll need it:
Centriq replaces the kitchen drawer that’s overflowing with warranties and appliance manuals. When it comes time to sell your home, you can digitally hand-off the manuals, as well as a catalogued repair history for each appliance, leading to peace of mind for the buyer.

How to use it:
Download the app, then log the product label of electronics and appliances in your home. After a quick set up, everything will be saved for the next time you need a little help. In addition to information from the manufacturer, you can log notes around previous problems and maintenance issues.

Pricing: Free

Available for: iOS and Android

3. todoist

Why we recommend it:
Home upkeep can take a village, so enlist yours with todoist. More robust than a refrigerator to-do list, and less stressful than constantly nagging a spouse or family member to complete a task, todoist makes it easy to share and delegate tasks. It’s also been ranked as the world’s best to do list by The Verge, and execs at Google and Nike swear by it.

When you’ll need it:
Plan tasks big and small with your housemates, so no one has to wonder, “Was the litter box cleaned?” before a showing. todoist has collaborative to-do lists, reminders, and note functions that can keep everyone on the same page about what’s been done, and what still needs to be completed around the house.

How to use it:
Create a list for your home, or lists for different categories like “Prepare for a Showing” or “To Complete Before Closing.” Invite stakeholders in the sale of your home, such as your spouse or real estate agent, to collaborate and add tasks. Set due dates and reminders for each task as they appear.

Pricing: Free (for basic version)

Available for: iOS, Desktop, and Android

4. HappyPlant

Why we recommend it:
With over 100,000 downloads, you can trust HappyPlant with your precious plant babies. You want your place in tip-top shape, and we wouldn’t blame you if simple tasks, like watering houseplants, slipped your mind. But nothing kills a home’s ambiance like a dying fern.

When you’ll need it: When things are so busy that your plants are neglected, or overwatered.

How to use it: Name your plant (optional), then, based on your plant’s breed, create a watering schedule. The app will send daily notifications reminding you which plants are thirsty.

Pricing: Free for up to 3 plants

Available for: iOS

Drywall that will be fixed with home improvement apps.
Source: (sun ok/ Shutterstock)

DIY Helpers

Doing-it-yourself doesn’t mean you won’t ask for occasional help. The average American homeowner has 9 incomplete projects in their home at any given point, so most of us need all the help we can get. Don’t let those projects sit unfinished while you prepare to sell your home. Use the tools below to turn a do-it-yourself into a did-it-yourself.

5. iHandy Carpenter

Why we recommend it:
iHandy does the work of several measurement tools in one “handy” app. iHandy’s suite of tools includes a plumb bob to measure the verticality of walls, a level, steel protractor, and ruler. Notably, the ruler has the ability to measure beyond the length of your smartphone.

When you’ll need it:
For those last minute measurements and adjustments before an open house. The level can ensure all pictures hang squarely, and if you’re not sure that new side table for staging will fit in the living room, the ruler can squash any doubt.

How to use it:
Select the tool you want to use. Animated on-screen graphics accompany every tool, guiding you through the motions to use each item.

Pricing: $1.99 one time purchasing fee

Available for: iOS and Android

6. DIY Tip Genius 

Why we recommend it:
A DIY-er’s dream, the Tip Genius app complies many of the tutorials, tips, and tricks from the long-published The Family Handyman magazine. With over 3,800 DIY tips, it’s a great jumping off point for any home project.

When you’ll need it:
From preparing a room for painting, to changing out recessed lighting, DIY Tip Genius provides time-saving shortcuts and easy-to-follow directions on home maintenance projects. As you prepare your home for sale, use the app to complete your projects faster and more accurately. For example, when fixing a hole in the drywall, save a few inches around the corners so you don’t need to waste time spreading compound on the adjacent wall.

How to use it: Using phrases and keywords, search the app for the project tutorial you need. You can save tips to use later in your “Favorite Tips” folder.

Pricing: Free

Available for: iOS and Android

7. wikiHow 

Why we recommend it:
You might be skeptical of user-sourced articles, but on average, each wikiHow article is edited by 23 people and reviewed by 16 others. If an article has a green checkmark next to it, it means it’s been verified by a professional. The expert (and amatuer) advice from over 42 countries translated across 18 languages makes for comprehensive information and advice.

When you’ll need it:
wikiHow can help you with just about anything, but could be the perfect tool for learning how to get those ketchup stains out of your couch before a showing, or cleaning your sun-bleached patio furniture.

How to use it:
Search using related keywords or phrases in the app to find step by step guides to solve your problem or aid you in your home improvement project.

Pricing: Free

Available for: iOS and Android

8. Measure 

Why we recommend it: Using cutting edge AR (augmented reality), this Google-created app makes it easy to measure objects all over your home in seconds.

When you’ll need it:
Can a potted plant brought in last minute for staging fit between the couch and the lamp? Is a potential buyer curious about the height from the top of the fridge to the ceiling? Take quick measurements of furniture, walls, or entire rooms.

How to use it:
Orient your phone towards an object, then tap items on the screen to determine measurements between them. Copy dimensions to the in-app clipboard for future reference.

Pricing: Free

Available for: Android

9. MeasureKit 

Why we recommend it:
Apple’s answer to Google’s Measure has more capabilities than its counterpart. It includes 9 different augmented reality measuring tools, making it possible to measure angles, corners, and more.

When you’ll need it:
It’s a perfect tool for estimating measurements on those days you misplace your tape measurer, or find yourself wondering if a piece of furniture will fit into your existing living layout.

How to use it:
Select a measuring mode within the app, and tap on the items on the screen that you want to measure.

Pricing: $4.99, plus optional in-app purchases

Available for: iOS

A handyman hired through a home improvement app.
Source: (Bidvine/ Pexels)

Call a Pro

Lots of us need help from time to time, and the average homeowner spent between $170-$650 on average last year hiring pros to help out. If a task is out of your skill set, don’t be afraid to call a pro and have it taken care of before it becomes a major issue.

10. Handy

Why we recommend it:
Hailed as the “Uber for handyman tasks,” Handy connects you with vetted, background-checked professionals to help you complete your list of small fixes and to-dos around the house. You can connect with cleaning professionals, furniture assemblers, and more on the app.

When you’ll need it:
Need last minute electrical assistance before an open house? Or perhaps a cleaning before an unexpected showing? Handy makes it easy to get home services on demand so you won’t have to search Google for an hour to find someone you can trust.

How to use it:
Search for the services you need, and the app will match you with Handy professionals in the area. Browse by availability, rates, and reviews, then book them on the same day in under 60 seconds.

Pricing: Pricing varies per service and market

Available for: iOS and Android

11. HomeAdvisor

Why we recommend it: HomeAdvisor’s award-winning app features professional repair people with full background checks with verified reviews, and estimates for heavy-duty projects.

When you’ll need it: 
Your fridge starts to make a terrible clunking noise, but you have no idea which steps to take, or how much it’ll cost you. Instead of leaving it be and hoping buyers won’t notice, a search in HomeAdvisor can show you what professional you might need to complete the project and ballpark the cost of the repair.

How to use it:
Search for the service you need to get an average estimate for repairs. From there, browse HomeAdvisor’s repair people in your area. Scan reviews and bookmark services and repair people to contact.

Pricing: Free 

Available for: Apple and Android

12. TaskRabbit

Why we recommend it:
TaskRabbit has a database of 140,000 background-checked “Taskers” who are willing to do whatever you need around the house at a moment’s notice. While not as specialized as other apps, Taskers can take care of simple projects when you don’t have time.

When you’ll need it:
Need someone to run errands for you while you’re busy prepping for an open house? Or somebody to drop off donations while you’re knee-deep in paperwork? Taskers can do it. If you’re overwhelmed with things to do around your home, you can outsource big and small tasks on TaskRabbit.

How to use it:
Describe the task you need. Include details about how quickly it needs to be completed and when you’re available. Choose a Tasker based on qualifications, reviews, and rates. Wait for the Tasker to arrive and complete the project, then pay and rate them through the app.

Pricing: App is free, rates vary by project.  

Available for: iOS and Android

13. Rover

Why we recommend it:
If you need a dog walker on demand, Rover has the largest network of pet professionals in the country. Each walker is vetted with a background check and has been approved by the team at Rover.

When you’ll need it:
You love your pet, but they won’t help sell your home. If you need your furry friend out of the house due to a last minute showing (and shoot, you’re at work!) you can find a walker or pet-sitter on demand.

How to use it:
Create a profile for you and your pet on the app, then find candidates filtered through availability, pricing, distance, and reviews. Once you’ve selected a sitter or walker, you can communicate through the app—which means sharing adorable pictures of your pet while they’re out on a walk.

Pricing: App is free, cost of walks or pet sitting varies.

Available for: iOS and Android

A room that has been painted because of a home improvement app.
Source: (Raphael Schaller/ Unsplash)

Paint and Color Swatches

A few buckets of paint can dramatically change the look of your home to entice sellers. Nearly 60% of real estate agents say repainting the interior of a home must be tackled before selling the home. The thing is, paint can be fickle and what might’ve looked great on a small swatch can be headache-inducing across a whole room. Paint apps can help save time by identifying the best colors and virtually simulating a new coat of paint.

14. ColorSnap by Sherwin-Williams 

Why we recommend it:
ColorSnap uses virtual tools and precision tech to make sure colors match. In tech site LifeWire’s review of the app, the only complaint was that the app almost had too many colors to choose from.

With ColorSnap, you can virtually repaint rooms using your smartphone, taking the guesswork out of that new coat of paint for the kitchen. ColorSnap’s technology can match colors to specific paints—so if you love the white of a backyard peony on your bathroom walls, all it takes is the snap of a picture to find the matching shade.

When you’ll need it:
When you think the blue shade of a napkin at a restaurant might be perfect for your bathroom walls, or you’re debating between three different beiges for the living room.

How to use it:
Take a picture of the room you want to repaint, then use the app to select a new shade. Or, upload an image to the app, and use it to identify the closest shade in Sherwin Williams paint library. Save colors by name and number in the app, making finding the shade in the store easy.

Pricing: Free

Available for: iOS, Android and Web

15. ProjectColor App by Home Depot

Why we recommend it:
This CNET-endorsed app uses the library of multiple paint brands, making it the strongest paint visualizing app if you’re unsure which paint brand to go with.

When you’ll need it: 
When you’re debating paint colors across multiple brands, use ProjectColor’s paint visualizer on your walls to see which shade works best.

How to use it: Choose a color you love, then hold your phone up to the room you want to paint to see it transform in real time.

Pricing: Free 

Available for: iOS and Android

16. Paint My Place

Why we recommend it:
Paint My Place’s main differentiator from the above apps is its lack of ties to paint manufacturers or retailers. It has the same paint visualization tools as ProjectColor or ColorSnap, but it’s not trying to sell you on a single brand or store.

When you’ll need it:
When you want to refresh your home before putting it on the market, but you’re not sold on how a new shade might look on the wall, use Paint My Place for a test drive. Paint My Place’s vast library of colors means your options are only limited by what you can find in nearby stores.

How to use it:
Take a picture of the room you want to paint. Select a color from the app’s library, and digitally paint the color onto your walls with your finger.

Pricing: Free

Available for: iOS and Android

A room designed by home improvement apps.
Source: (Vecislavas Popa/ Pexels)

Staging, Furniture, and Design

You could spend an afternoon shuffling furniture around, or you could use an app to visualize a room redesign without throwing your back out lifting the couch. 90% of real estate agents recommend using staging to help sell your home, and some of the services provided by the apps below can help offset, or eliminate the costs of a professional stager. Staging and design apps come in handy as you get your home ready to show.

17. Modsy

Why we recommend it:
Modsy helps you design a room from scratch or put the finishing touches on a space. Chosen as top virtual home makeover app by The Verge, the site offers flexible plans and online concierge services, and will work within your budget and timeline to stage your home. A traditional interior designer will cost you between $500-$600 on average per room but Modsy’s beginning packages are a fraction of the price.

When you’ll need it:
When you’re starting to stage your home for showings, have a limited budget, but still need a professional eye to direct your DIY staging efforts.

How to use it:
Share pictures and measurements of your space, as well as what you’d like to change. From there, designers will create 3D renderings of your rooms redesigned. Swap items depending on budget and tastes, then you’ll get a full shopping list of items as well as a discount from third-party retailers.

Pricing: Classic package starts at $69, and a multi-room redesign is $349.

Available for: Web

18. RoomScan Pro

Why we recommend it:
Creating a layout of each room in your home can be tedious, and if you haven’t done it before, plans can come out inaccurate. Endorsed by Apartment Therapy, RoomScan Pro will walk you through the layout process and self-generate room layouts, saving you the hassle of fumbling around with measuring tape and a pencil and paper.

When you’ll need it:
The app comes in handy when you’re staging your home from scratch and need dimensions for staging. Or you might use at your new place to see if your existing furniture will fit post-move.

How to use it: Hold the phone up to a wall. From there, the app will vocally prompt you on how long to hold the phone up, and where to move it next for a full room scan.

Pricing: $4.99

Available for: iOS

19. Amikasa

Why we recommend it:
Amikasa’s open-source capabilities mean you can use products from any designer or brand to create a furniture layout in your home. You’re not bound by sponsored products and can upload furniture or choose from the library of existing items to redesign your space.

When you’ll need it:
Let’s say you already have all the pieces you need for a home staging, but you’re not sure how to present it to buyers. Use Amikasa to upload your furniture with dimensions to work out room flow and staging without scuffing up the floors.

How to use it:
Build your room with a few simple prompts, then decorate the space with furniture from Amikasa’s catalog. When complete, you can even do a digital walkthrough of the rendering. From there, you can use your creativity to stage the space in real life.

Pricing: $.99

Available for: iOS

20. Pinterest

Why we recommend it:
As far as reference boards go, Pinterest is an amateur home designer’s dream. Imagine an endless scroll of impeccably designed entryways and bathrooms that include directions to make the projects on your own. Save “pins” of projects, such as a wooden pallet coffee table or a custom pantry designs, to stay organized.

When you’ll need it:
Looking to add value, or redesign a room before putting your home on the market? Pinterest can be the perfect starting point for undertaking home improvement projects or reimagining a room. Use it to save reference images for your bathroom update, and start DIY projects on the app around your home.

How to use it:
Browse the site or app, and place a pin on any images you like. From there, you can organize pins into different boards. For example, you might organize boards by room, pinning a retiling project to your bathroom board. With Pinterest’s web browser plug-in, you can pin any image from any site and add it to your boards, making it easy to access from anywhere on the web.

Pricing: Free

Available for: iOS and Android

An app can make all the difference

The world of smartphones surely makes things easier, but finding the right home improvement app can take more time than the task itself. This list should help direct you toward some of the best options to complete projects faster and with fewer hassles, remove stress from preparations and staging, and make it that much easier to bring your home to the market.

Header Image Source: (Tyler Franta/ Unsplash)

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