Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Appeal To The Masses

Our house is approximately 20 years old, and we've lived here for 16. When we moved in, all of the décor was the latest style. Now much of it is dated and old looking. Since all the boys are gone now and the house is too big, eventually we'll sell it. Even though we may be years away from moving, rather than doing all of the updating at the last minute, I'd like to do some things as I have extra time and money, so today we had a real estate agent come and give us ideas for getting a house ready for sale.

I asked an agent who lives in my subdivision to help us out. She really knows the market around here, and could tell us about buyers' expectations in this neighborhood. When she arrived for the appointment, she handed me a copy of a booklet about preparing your house for sale. It was full of practical (but general) suggestions. She suggested we walk through the house so I could get some specific ideas for mine.

I tried to write everything down as we moved from room to room. Most of the suggestions were minor. Her fresh eye pointed out some simple repairs, like the window with a leaky seal that I've just learned to ignore, and the water stains in the bathroom sinks. She had suggestions for paint and furnishing colors.

However, some things would take more work and money. Polished brass, which screams 1980s, is the biggest offender in our house. Most of the light fixtures are shiny. So are the faucets and shower surround in the master bathroom. And the cabinet hardware in the kitchen. It all should go.

The beige kitchen appliances are outdated, and should be replaced with stainless steel. The laminate kitchen countertops with their innumerable knife dings and mystery stains also need to be changed. The Parquet floor in the entry hall, which was the height of elegance when the house was built, now clashes with the plank hardwood floor we installed in the dining room.

At the end of the meeting, I had a long list of things that would have to be done to get our house ready to put on the market. Some things, like paint and carpet, would need to be re-done later, so we won't even bother to tackle them now. However, the rest will be good projects that will go a long way towards sprucing up our house.


  1. Polished brass! My parent's old house was filled with that. And the beige kitchen appliances [technically I believe they were almond...]. My mum actually sold the house without doing any upgrades and made a tidy profit...however, I think that maybe the beige and the polished brass is still the height of style in my rural hometown.

  2. Selling a house makes you see all the problems you have learned to ignore. (Maybe if I were selling my house, I'd put up the curtain I took down for the kitchen reno in 2004.)

    I would never buy stainless steel appliances, though, because every time I've seen them in a store, they are full of fingerprints.

  3. No stainless steel appliances. That is a trend that will come to an end. Wait and see what's popular when you get ready to sell.

    Thank you for your kind words for Samson. We have him at home and trying to keep him comfortable. He has some medications to take which may or may not help. He seems pretty perky but still wheezes.