Home Repairs Part 2 – Inside Your San Antonio House

Home Repairs That Make
Your House Stand Out

In Home Repairs That Sell Part 1 – San Antonio Curb Appeal, we discussed the general approach you should take on repairs to get your house ready to sell. Please take a minute to review it or check it out if you missed it.

In part 2 of the series, we will discuss cleaning and repairs that should be done throughout the inside of the house. Next week, we will wrap up the series with a room-by-room finale.

What Your Walls Say
About Your Home

A coat of paint goes a long way to make the inside of your home look fresh and inviting. If you can do it yourself, the cost can be downright reasonable – compared to the benefits you receive when the work is finished.

Paint all of the walls in the house the same color – a neutral, off-white color. Later you can stage your home with color through decorations and linens to give the place some personality. Stay away from accent wall or trim colors that are bright, funky, or just odd (like painting one wall black).

If you have wallpaper that looks worn or faded, it should be covered over with new wallpaper. Again, keep it to neutral colors that look good with the color you are painting all the other walls.

It is much cheaper and easier to re-paper a wall than to remove the old wallpaper and add texture to the wall before painting it. The same goes for wallpaper borders; re-cover worn borders after the painting is done.

If you have an especially boring room, add a wallpaper border at the top of the walls. You can also put a border at the height of a chair rail, and paint the section below the border a slightly darker shade than the main wall color above the border. This can add a lot of elegance to a plain room without breaking the bank.

The Key to Doors
& Woodwork

Cabinets, Doors, & Hardware

The worst areas of visible dirt – and the ones you may not notice – are the areas around knobs, handles, drawer pulls window locks, light switches, or anything else that gets grabbed frequently. It’s not that your family has nasty, dirty hands – it’s just that the oils from their hands can build up and discolor the woodwork.

Pull out your favorite, rinse-free household cleaner and make sure it is not strong enough to damage painted surfaces. Grab as many soft cloths as you can find, and work your way around the house.

If there is stubborn dirt or damage to the surface around doorknobs, you should repaint the door white to match the baseboards.

Make sure you go methodically around each room so you don’t miss anything. Walk into the room and take note of all the places people touch regularly, then spray and wipe.

If you have cleaned it all and you have hardware that still doesn’t look good, it might be time to replace it. The knobs on interior doors and the handles and pulls on kitchen and bathroom cabinets should be gleaming, as well as hardware on any other built-in piece.

The rule of thumb: If you replace one, you should replace all of the hardware in a set of cabinets so they match. This may seem expensive, but you can usually find a lower-end product that looks ok. Don’t forget to check clearance racks, as long as they have enough of the same design to do the job.

Make Your Woodwork Work

Paint all the baseboards white and they will gleam against your neutral walls. Along with the baseboards you need to freshen up the white paint on doorjambs, railings, doors, and anything else that needs attention.

If you have heavy window frames, paint them white, as well. If you have vinyl windows, they are probably inset a few inches, with a paintable rim all the way around.

Either way, you have a fantastic opportunity to draw attention to the light streaming in through the window: Paint the heavy wood window frame or the inset area white to match the baseboards, being careful not to get white paint on the neutral wall around the window.

Brightening the area around the window will help reflect light from the window, or reflect artificial light from the room even if there isn’t much daylight coming through the glass.

Let Your Light

Make sure that all of the light fixtures in your house are in good working order because a buyer can be turned off if they flip a light switch and nothing happens. If you have switches that are for other things – like turning on the fireplace or garbage disposal – you can put a small, neatly written label using masking tape and a Sharpie.

Clean out the dust, dead flies, and cobwebs that get trapped around or inside light fixtures. Repair or replace any light fixture or wiring that doesn’t work – after you make sure it’s not just a burned-out bulb. Definitely repair or replace any fixture that is still unsightly after cleaning.

While you are on the ladder to work on light fixtures, make sure each one has a nice, bright bulb. This is not the time for soft light – go for the bright, full-spectrum variety. Buyers will respond better if they can see the great features of your house, and then it’s up to the new owner if they want to dial it down with some soft white lighting.

When you replace dim or yellowish bulbs, use 60-75 watt-equivalent white light. For can lights and floodlights, be sure you use the type of bulb that is recommended. For example, a standard size incandescent bulb is a potential fire hazard if you put it into a can light; heat will build up, whereas floodlight bulbs are made to distribute heat away from the ceiling.

Keep Your Common Areas
Uncommonly Spacious

Your hallways and stairs can make or break the deal. If the hallway or landing is home to furniture, bicycles, backpacks on hooks, removable shelves, or anything else that cuts into the width of the hallway, move it, pack it, or get rid of it. That goes double for walls that are covered with family photos and memorabilia.

Make sure the paint or wallpaper in these areas is light and cheery, not dark and dreary. If the floor is uncluttered and the walls are clean and empty in narrow passages, the entire house will feel bigger.

If your stairs are not carpeted but are bare tile or hardwood, consider purchasing a set of carpeted stair treads – rectangular strips of carpet with adhesive backing, that you can stick on each step. As long as they are installed properly, they can make it safer for buyers to negotiate the stairs. A nice bonus – they dampen the noise of clunky shoes, adding to the cozy feel of the house.

Texas Real Estate Market Metrics:
The Upshot

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get your house ready to sell. You just need to know what is important so you can prioritize your time and resources.

Your first step is to reach out to a great realtor® if you have not already done so. They can guide you through the process of making your home attractive and appealing to potential buyers. That’s what I call…

Let’s Get Started!

Click below to get a feel for the current San Antonio real estate market, but keep in mind that searching for the perfect house is a big deal.

Step up your game by having me monitor the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for you, so you can react quickly when a great property becomes available.

Reach out to me to challenge my commitment to be your mentor and partner every step of the way. See what it really means to have…

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Call, text, or send a message – I’m happy to help!

Andrew Barlowe Realtor Vortex Realty

Andrew Barlowe

2241 NW Military Hwy STE 302 San Antonio, TX 78213 210.420.8420

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