Selling Your Home?
Simply rearranging the furniture can reenergize a room. Add and remove furniture, lamps, rugs, and accessories from other parts of the house to create a whole new look. Mirrors are particularly useful when it comes to updating a room. Try one out in different rooms to see where it fits best. Even just moving a mirror to a different wall can create a more welcoming feel.
2. Plant it.
Houseplants are a generally undervalued design component that can add texture, warmth, and color to any room. Just drop plants in their store containers into decorative planters. Small plants can be moved easily and regrouped to change a room's look, while larger ones make a statement on their own. Group plants of differing heights, fullness, and color for the most dramatic effect. Jettison the scraggly specimens, Westman says. "It's important to have plants that are well maintained and in tip-top condition."
3. Paint it.
Paint is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to make a substantial change. Use dramatic colors in powder rooms and dining rooms, and more neutral colors in living spaces. When selecting colors, "be sure to ask, 'What am I trying to do? How do I want this to feel?'" Birdsong says. "And always, always do a test before you paint the whole room."
4. Organize it.
"Clutter just happens," Birdsong says. "So neaten up!" She advocates a variety of organizing tools to make a space feel polished while maintaining utility. Hooks and shelves inside the door give people a place to hang coats and keys, while canvas bins or natural baskets help contain magazines and mail. "Just a row of hooks preattached on a board is so easy to install," she says. "And shelves are a great way to neatly display collectibles."
5. Hide it.
Have a banged-up wall? It may be easy to camouflage. Paintable wallpaper (available for as little as $16/roll from Creative Wallcovering) will smooth out an uneven wall or hide minor dents and dings. Adventurous home owners can even try a simple two-step painting process for a more complex finish. Birdsong suggests applying a solid base coat, then a glaze. "These days, it's pretty user-friendly," she says. Caution: Your intent should never be to mislead buyers; be sure to disclose flaws that would affect home value.
6. Replace it.
Cabinet handles, switch plates, and other small pieces of housing hardware can update a home for just a few dollars a piece. Westman suggests scanning each room to see what looks worn or outdated and then replacing it. Inexpensive quick-connect faucets can make upgrading the look of your bathroom a snap. Just be sure to measure before you go to the hardware store. Some sinks are drilled for an eight-inch spread. Others require just four inches. "And don't forget the toilet seat," adds Westman. "Fresh towels and a new toilet seat go a long way toward making a bathroom feel clean and new."
7. Light it.
Lighting can have a major impact on a home's look and feel. Whether a room seems dark or too bright and harsh, try "layering" the lighting by adding accent pendants and lamps. Make sure they have independent controls, so that you can turn them on and off at will.
"Light is such a mood setter," Westman says. "You can create a cozy feel just by turning down the lights." Add dimmers in the dining room, bathrooms, kitchen, and even the hallways for less than $4 each. Then adjust the lighting to create the mood you want.
8. Clean it.
Turn a critical eye to the flooring to make sure it's up to snuff. Scrub grout and seal natural stone. Rub out scratches and nicks on wood floors with scratch cover. "Get down on your hands and knees and detail the floors," Birdsong says. "It takes a little elbow grease, but the results are well worth it." Vinyl flooring is a bit harder to spruce up but usually can be replaced easily and inexpensively
Paint your front door (This is the first impression that a prospective buyer will have when they enter
|Replace windows that have broken seals (see if they still are under warranty)|
|Replace torn or damaged screens|
|Trim shrubs and trees|
|Replace any burned out exterior light bulbs|
|Do the water faucets have "back flow preventors"|
|If you have gutters, ensure they are serviceable (i.e. secure loose fittings and remove excess leaves)|
|Edge all walkways, driveways, and curbs|
|Replace any missing shingles|
Use a clear
sealant and caulk the bottom portion of the windows, on the outside, where they meet the
brick or siding
|Replace any missing fence boards; re-secure loose boards|
|Move firewood away from house (we don't want to encourage termites or ants)|
|Take your hoses and sprinklers, unless a neighbor will volunteer to look after your yard|
|Pay your fire ants to move to your neighbors yard|
|Remove any wasp nests that may exist|
|Paint any trim that has faded|
|Trim away any branches that may be rubbing on your roof|
|Remove the cover to the air conditioning unit and remove any foreign debris (i.e. leaves, twigs, etc.)|
Ensure that your
air conditioning unit is level and that the condensation hose drain is working
|Test your door bell to ensure it works|
|Power Wash the front walk way, garage floor, and patio.|
|Clean out the garage - get rid of paint if it is 1 year old or older.|
you think the interior of your house needs to be painted, it probably does.
you would want painted if you were buying the house
|Paint the baseboards in the entryway, living room, family room, and kitchen|
|Replace any defective electrical outlets and/or cover plates|
|Replace or clean the filter on your stove's vent hood.|
|Replace all burned out light bulbs|
|Check the toilets to ensure that they don't leak|
the caulking around the tubs/showers is cracked, re-caulk these areas, use DAP Tub and Tile
|Have your carpet professionally cleaned|
|Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans (tops of ceiling fan blades collect a large quantity of dust)|
|If the toilet seats are chipped or stained replace them|
|Replace your heating and air conditioning filter|
|Remove all trash and personal belongings from the attic|
|Replace any missing or warped shelves in your closets|
|Check the ducting in the attic, if it is ripped or torn have it repaired or replaced|
your dishwasher soap dispenser does not open during the wash cycle, have it repaired. This
common problem on homes over 4 years of age
|Replace missing door stops|
Check to ensure that the electrical outlets in the bathrooms are covered by a Ground Fault
Interrupter. Ditto for all outlets in the kitchen (Code change - Sept 2001)
|Ensure that your ceiling fans do not wobble|
|Clean all closets|
|Kitchen Counters - if they appear cluttered, pack up items you don't normally use.|
Eva E. Keagle
REALTOR®, ABR, CRS, GRI
Texas License #0426518
"Licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission"
ERA Colonial Real Estate
777 Indian Trail Drive
Harker Heights, TX 76548