Most sellers hate spending money on a home they’re leaving. Here are some quick and cheap fixes for some common and annoying issues:
Crusty stove burner plates.
FIX: Replacements are cheap and look good for showings; keep the old crusty ones to switch out before cooking!
Maintaining clean bathrooms for showings.
FIX: Everyone use one shower, preferably one with a shower curtain (you don’t have to squeegee a shower curtain). Also, hang decorative towels and keep them off-limits. Then, toss wet towels into the dryer for 20 minutes. They’ll be there when you return home.
Smoke-stained fireplace brick.
FIX: Wet the brick with a sponge, then spray Scrubbing Bubbles on it. Let it sit 30 seconds or so then scrub-brush the brick. Rinse with clean warm water. Repeat if necessary. Don’t forget to protect the hearth and flooring with a drop cloth!
FIX: Steal a replacement patch from beneath the stove or refrigerator, or, in the case of a laundry room, from beneath the washer or dryer.
Broken globe on light fixture.
FIX: Buy a replacement fixture but use it only for parts, bypassing the need for an electrician. (This is assuming the original fixture is updated.)
No touch-up paint exists anywhere.
FIX: For wall color, first check to see if the air vent cover was painted. Unscrew it and take it in for a color match. Otherwise, cut out a quarter-size chunk of painted drywall from behind an outlet cover or switch plate. For cabinets, take a small drawer from the bathroom. It often matches the painted house trim, too.
Scummy shower doors.
FIX: Combine equal parts of white vinegar and blue Dawn in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on tile and shower doors, covering everything. Wait one hour, but don’t let it dry. Wipe off with a clean sponge, rinsing the sponge often. Rinse thoroughly—the bottom will be very slippery! The Dawn breaks down soap scum, the vinegar breaks down hard water. Tip: If the grout or shower pan needs more help, take a scrub brush to it.
Scratched or worn wood cabinetry and trim.
FIX: Forget the temporary fix of Old English Scratch Cover. Pick up a can of Howard’s Restor-A-Finish at Home Depot—in the paint department—and wipe on a permanent fix!
Worn out or dated cabinet pulls.
FIX: If replacing the cabinet pulls in the kitchen but not in a secondary bathroom, re-use the less-worn kitchen pulls in the bathroom.
Dingy bathroom floor grout.
FIX: Wet the grout, sprinkle on some Comet and use a scrub brush and elbow grease.
Latex paint spilled on carpet.
FIX: While still wet, use a carpet steam cleaner. If it has dried paint, use Crud Cutter.
Dog’s nose prints or toddler’s hand prints on the front door glass.
FIX: Keep the door closed.
Broken clip for the cover of wood blinds.
FIX: Re-attach with self-adhesive Velcro.
Removing the clutter.
FIX: Put donation bags directly into the car for delivery to charity, rather than setting them down in the garage where it becomes another project. Another option, drag old furniture and toys to the curb and let the neighbors haul it off for you.
Bathroom mirror with worn silver backing.
FIX: Carefully spray a trim of “frosted glass” over the worn area after taping off for a clean line.
Cottage-cheese ceiling has an old water stain.
FIX: First try spraying it with a combination of 1/4 cup bleach and 3/4 cup water. Don’t saturate it. If it made an improvement, hit it again after you’ve let it dry thoroughly. Also, be sure to protect everything around it from the bleach, including your clothes. If bleach doesn’t work, pick up a can of Kilz Upshotz, which is the same color as the ceiling spray. Be sure to protect the wall paint if the stain is on an edge.
This is just a sampling of common issues, but I have loads of tips and ideas that have saved homeowners thousands of dollars over the years. Let me know how I can make your life easier—I can often make a major difference in just two hours!
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Copyright © 2022 by Cynthia Gentry Black, Home Staging by Cynthia, LLC in Kansas City.
All rights reserved. No portion may be shared, reused or republished in any format without express written consent of the author.