9 ways to
spruce up your home
If you’ve been out
of your house at all, you’ve noticed "for sale" signs
popping up in front of lots of houses on almost every block of Royal
And if you just put
your home up for sale, there are some quick, relatively inexpensive
things you can do to make your home more appealing to buyers. This is
truly a case of first impressions counting for a lot.
John Frentz and his
wife, Shelley, know the market all of us live in, and they also know
about the so-called "little" things in a home that may not
seem like a big deal to you as the homeowner, but could make the
difference to a buyer who’s considering purchasing your home.
- Fresh coat of
The color of your walls can make a large difference in a potential
buyer’s mood. Invest in a little paint – "off white, a
light beige or yellow, something from the lighter end of the
spectrum," John says. The idea is to let the buyer picture him-
or herself living in the home, not fitting themselves into your
- Make the
Once you’ve painted, fresh switch plates are an inexpensive way to
tastefully finish off the job. You’ll probably be surprised at how
dirty and scuffed your old switch plates are, and they probably won’t
go with the new paint job, either.
- Fix leaky
"Check for leaky faucets and fix them. Often, it’s only a
washer," says John, but a potential buyer doesn’t know if it’s
a washer or a bigger problem. Washers at Frentz and Sons Hardware
start at 20 cents. If you don’t know how to replace a washer, just
bring the stem in and John or someone else will show you how.
- Clean, clean,
Shelley says the first thing that catches her eye is whether things
are really clean, or were just cleaned for the occasion.
"Particularly mini blinds. We’ve got a multi-pronged brush
that works really well on those." Other areas she thinks about
are clean appliances, particularly if they’re being offered with
the home, the cabinets under kitchen sinks, and bathrooms.
tubs have lost so much porcelain over the years that they can’t be
cleaned, but they can be refinished. Frentz has a kit that will do
it and can save you the expense of calling in someone to do it. It
if truly is just a cleaning issue, John and Shelley recommend a
product they carry called "X-14" for killing mildew, and
"The Works" product line for cleaning rust out of tubs and
- If it's broke,
"Fix broken door latches, windows and screens," John says.
Frentz can cut glass and screens to fit, and door latches are fairly
easy to replace. These are some of the first things prospective
buyers see and touch. If latches work and windows and screens are
intact, they’ll probably not even notice them. But if they’re
broken, it’s one of the main things buyers will remember. All this
work is a small investment compared to what you gain," John
says. "But no one wants to move into a house knowing they’ve
got two weeks worth of projects to do – they’ve got enough on
- Tidy up the
DON’T paint the basement unless it’s already been painted, both
John and Shelley agree. If you do, buyers will think you’re trying
to fake them out about water damage and possible flooding. "The
best thing to do is just make sure it’s real clean – that says
honesty," John says.
- Watch your
Check your front steps for cracks larger than hairline. If you find
any, invest in a bag of Quikrete and do the best job you can of
neatly filling in cracks and small holes. "It’s better to
have something look as though it was worked on than left
alone," John says.
- Ring, ring?
And finally, the doorbell. If it doesn’t work, you could claim
just to be antisocial, and that you really like it that way, but
buyers will find the argument unconvincing.
have two ways to go here: First, check the transformer, which is in your
basement, screwed to the rafters. It’s a metal box slightly smaller
but a little thicker than a pack of cigarettes, and it might have blown.
That’s an easy fix – much easier than tearing your house apart to
get to all the doorbell wiring behind molding and walls. But most
likely its the wires behind the door bell buttons most of the times the
twisted and shorted out to one and other or to the aluminum siding.
There’s also an
even easier fix – the wireless doorbell. John says you just hang the
doorbell button, which has a battery inside, on the outside of the house
where it normally goes by the door. Inside the house you plug a small
box that acts at the bell unit into in any socket in the house. It can
be moved from room to room, in case you’re going to be working in the
basement or watching the kids.
However, if you’re
determined to rewire that doorbell the way it was originally wired 40
years ago, stop by Frentz – John will draw a diagram for you.
Remember though that the original wires are all paltered in behind the