Tuesday, 23 April 2013

12 House Hunting Tips to Help your quest for your new home

12 House-Hunting Tips to Help You Make the Right Choice
Stay organized and focused on your quest for a new home, to make the search easier and avoid surprises later
By Laura Gaskill
Published by www.houzz.com

In the hunt for the perfect house, it's easy to get swept away by a home's most charming details (a gracious front porch) and play down the important stuff you'll be kicking yourself for later (the price is over budget). And if you are touring multiple open houses each weekend, keeping everything straight can get complicated.

Set your priorities and streamline the house-hunting process early on, and you can breathe easier knowing you have a handle on things. It's probably the most important purchase you will ever make, so take a few deep breaths and make a plan before diving in — you'll be glad you did.

These 12 tips can help you stay organized and focused on the important things during your house hunt.

1. Set your priorities. Before taking a look at any houses, sit down and write out everything you want in a home, with input from all members of the household. Then choose your top five, or even top three, must-haves.

Once you start looking, all sorts of charming features are bound to sway you; keeping your priorities list close at hand can help you stay on track.
2. Make a comparison chart. After you have seen a dozen or more houses, it becomes very difficult to keep track of the features in each one. Make things a little easier by creating your own comparison chart or checklist to bring along to each home, and make notes on it during or immediately after each tour.

Beyond the basics (beds and baths) consider including notes on landscaping, the condition of the roof and exterior, natural light in each room, storage space and cost per square foot. Consider this chart a personal tool — something you can look back on to help guide your decision making, not a substitute for a good home inspection.
3. Walk through once and let yourself soak it all in. When you tour a home for the first time, the excitement can make it difficult to focus on ... well, anything at all. So I say, just go with it. Have fun, wander around and mentally note your first impressions of the space. Once the butterflies have died down, it's time to get to work.
4. Then go back to the beginning and start again. Walk back to the front of the house and literally begin your tour again. This time, pull out your clipboard and pen, take your time and approach the home as if you were an inspector rather then a potential buyer.
5. Bring furniture measurements. Jumping the gun? Maybe. A deal breaker? Probably not. But if every room in the house presents problems with your current furniture situation, you could effectively be adding thousands of dollars to the price if you have to purchase new furniture — something that is probably better to know sooner rather than later.
6. Sketch a floor plan. You do not need to have any real drawing skills to make a superbasic floor plan on paper, and having it to refer to later is priceless. Just do your best. Starting at the front door, draw boxes for rooms and mark doors, windows, stairways and openings roughly where they are.

7. Ask to take photos (or even a video). It's amazing how quickly memory fades. Make sure you have backup by creating a floor plan and taking photos or a short video tour if possible — it will really give you a full picture of what the house looks like. Be sure to ask the Realtor for permission before taking any photos or video. And even then, it is assumed that they are for personal use, so don't post them to your Facebook page or blog ... at least not until you own the house.
8. Open the closets and cupboards. Proper storage is a really important factor in how a home looks and feels when you are living in it. Note the number and size of cupboards and closets throughout the house, and don't be afraid to peek inside. If the current homeowner has them packed to the gills, that may be a sign that the house doesn't have enough storage for its size.

9. Lift up the rugs. While this is not something you necessarily want to do during a busy open house, if you are back for a second look and are really considering making an offer, it is important to know what you are getting into. Rugs (and even furniture) can be used to conceal damaged flooring, so you have a right to see what's going on under there. Just let the Realtor know what you want to see, and he or she should accommodate you.

10. Look high and look low. It is important to get a good look at the house that could be your new home, so make a point of focusing on things outside your usual line of vision. Check out the ceilings, walls, floors, trim, windows, roof and under the sinks.
11. Check out the property at different times of day. If you do come back for a second showing, make it during a different time of day from the open house or first tour. In the evening, notice not only the changes in light, but the atmosphere in the neighborhood. Are people out sitting on porches? Are kids playing outside? Is it noisy? You are bound to learn and discover different things about the house each time.
12. Take a moment to envision how you would use the space. Just because the current owner (or staging company) has the second bedroom set up for guests doesn't mean you can't use it as an office, a home gym or a nursery. Paint colors, furniture arrangements and window treatments can also all be swapped out, so use your imagination and really put yourself in the home.

Source: www.houzz.com
Kevin & Faye Kitzman
Sales Representatives
Remax Real Estate Centre
Direct : 519-577-0603
Faye Kitzman
Mortgage Agent
Mortgage Intelligence

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

15 Best ways to increase the value of your home.

The value that you have in your home is the single most important reason why you own instead of rent a home. In the this recent economy of falling house values and unstable housing market statistics, every home owner should know how to put more value back into their homes. Although making home improvements is not a sure-fire way to increase the value, it will at the very least make you more competitive against your competition. Use these tips to increase the value of your home and enjoy the rewards when it is time to sell your home.
upgrade home main 15 Best Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home
1.) Update kitchen appliances: The most sought after room in your home is the kitchen. It is worth the most per square foot and will make the difference of your home appealing to buyers or not. If your appliances are more than 3-5 years old consider updating them to the comfortability of your wallet. A newer model, a more designer finish, or more features will help home buyers take a second glance at your kitchen. For top of the line appliances consider stainless steel and professional series lines.
2.) Kitchen cabinetry makes the look: When you walk into a kitchen the first thing you notice is the cabinets. Cabinetry is at the top of the percentage of kitchen costs, but also shows the most return. Opt for wood over laminate surfaces and add custom features like crown molding, wine racks, glazing, and custom woodworking to set your kitchen apart from your competition. Reface cabinets and add door and drawer hardware for less expensive updating.
3.) Add value by upgrading your countertops: Any room you have countertops – kitchen, bathroom, bars, or utility rooms the more money you can spend into a higher end countertop the better. Plastic laminate countertops are considered the lower end grade, solid surfacing, concrete and granite is considered to be the higher end grade. Consider overlay countertops that are made from composite granite/resin combination for the look of granite at a fraction of the cost.
upgrade home kitchen e1285540032188 15 Best Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home 4.) Flooring is a forgotten upgrade: The rule of thumb for flooring is the more resilient and long lasting, the higher the upgrade is, but the higher return is on investment (ROI). Vinyl flooring and low end carpet is at the bottom of the upgrade spectrum. Consider wood, tile, and natural stone for flooring options to add value to your home.
5.) Upgrade plumbing fixtures in kitchen and bathrooms: If your plumbing fixtures are more than 10 years old, consider upgrading them. If you have standard grade fixtures, such as chrome finish, opt for higher end finishes and materials. Brushed nickel, antique copper and brass fixtures are relatively inexpensive to replace. At kitchen sinks choose plumbing fixture collections that offer matching faucet, control, and sink sprayer. Similarly in bathrooms, choose bathtub/shower/and sink controls that coordinate for a unified look throughout your home.
6.) Master bedrooms should feel like a retreat: The master bedroom or suite as some like to refer to it is a high commodity for home buyers. Upgrade flat ceilings to raised tray ceilings and allow for several lighting options. Recessed lighting with dimmers, lighting wall sconces help create an ambiance that has a high value in appeal and for the value of your home.
7.) Upgrade master bathroom with spa-like features: Part of the master bedroom is the master bathroom. Buyers want to have spa features from the shower to the over-sized garden tub. Similarly to the kitchen, put upgrades where you can most afford it. Upgraded tiled floors and showers will add value over pre manufactured units. Jetted soaking tubs, multisprayer showers and large square footage will also add value to your overall home.
upgrade home m bath e1285543379516 15 Best Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home
8.) State of art audio and sound: Consider adding surround sound systems in your living areas as well as master bedroom area for a notch above your competition. If you are selling electronics with your home, plasma and flat screen televisions are a plus and media rooms are now becoming well sought after. Add seating areas for multiple screen viewing and add theater sound if considering a media room. These upgrades will be an amenity that adds value and buyer appeal.
9.) Eco-friendly homes bring in a higher value: In this green modern age, eco conscious upgrades have a big return on investment. From water saving plumbing fixtures to tankless hot water heaters, investing in the earth can add value to your home. Choose rapidly renewable resources for finishes like bamboo flooring and opt for systems that save on energy costs. Regardless of the method, green living upgrades are always worth the investment.
10.) A fully usable garage is an asset: A garage can add usable storage space for the home buyer as well as dry, clean area for parking cars. All homes don’t have garages and therefore can add value on to your home. If your home is on the market, spend time cleaning and organizing your garage so it can be shown. Install garage wall or ceiling organizing shelves to fully take advantage of vertical storage and space.
11.) Invest in curb appeal: To be able to meet the demands of the average home buyer you will need to create curb appeal. A well manicured lawn, trimmed landscaping and clean drive and sidewalks will help bring greater buyer appeal, and in turn will add value on to your home. Keep your flower beds free of weeds and full of thriving and colorful plants. Nothing says ‘buy me’ like a front yard that has quality upkeep behind it.
buyer appeal curb appeal 15 Best Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home 12.) Have fully functioning irrigation system: The more ways you can add convenience of time and energy to a home buyer, the greater appeal is created for your home. An irrigation system that works properly and covers the full yard can add value. Consider having a maintenance check by an irrigation professional that can service and recommend the proper maintenance of your irrigation system.
13.) The more closets the better: At the top of buyers’ lists is always storage. The more you can provide the more value you add on to your home price. Make sure closets are fully functioning and are not being used to hold so many belongings that a home buyer can’t see how much space the closet offers. When choosing how to upgrade your home, storage is one of the easiest and often overlooked suggestions.
14.) A quality roof is a plus: The roof of your home protects and beautifies the structure beneath. A quality roof will add value to your home and reduce the risk of damage in the near future. For roofs older than 15 years, consider having a roofer inspect and possibly replace. Upgrade from asphalt shingles to clay tiles, copper, slate or standing metal seam to add durability and value.
15.) Windows are for more than viewing: Your windows are the source for your light, but also the source for conditioned air gain and loss. Upgrade to windows with higher R values to resist heat and cold transfer from the outdoors. Double paned windows, windows with integral window treatments and insulated varieties all equate to saving energy and therefore will add more value to your home.
buyer appeal window 15 Best Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home Spend the money now to invest in your home. The value that you create now will increase in time. Even if you don’t plan to sell your home soon, you will enjoy the upgrades that are made and in turn will add value to your own life. Use these 15 tips to increase the value of your home and enjoy the process.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

25 Biggest Renovating Mistakes

25 Biggest Renovating Mistakes

These expert tips will you help avoid the most common mistakes when remodeling your home.

From ignoring prep work and safety, to setting unrealistic budgets and selecting the wrong fixtures, this is a fearless exposé of the most common renovation mishaps. Find out how it happens, why people do it and, best of all, how to avoid making these mistakes in your own home. 25. Gutting Everything
"Make sure you have a well-set plan before you start your renovations, because you don't want to go in there and just clear everything out, when you might be able to work around some areas," warns Carey Evans of Don't Sweat It.
"I see this time and time again where people just start, and they think they're going to pull a piece of wallpaper off, and by the time the process is over, they've completely gotten themselves into a deep, dark hole that's very difficult to get out of," adds Eric Stromer of Over Your Head. 24. Buying Cheap Materials
Don't Sweat It host Steve Watson says, "One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to home renovation (is that) they try to be cheap when they buy materials. The bottom line is, you're going to get what you pay for." His carpenter Jimmy Little adds his two cents: "If you're going to do it, do it. If you can't afford to do it, wait." 23. Excessive Use of Duct Tape "My esteemed colleagues, duct tape is not a permanent solution. It is merely a temporary fix," says Stromer. "People use duct tape because it's cheap and it's quick and it's easy, but it's definitely a temporary solution. Don't leave it up for more than a couple hours ... ever," Little adds. 22. Inaccurate Measurements Nancy Soriano, editor in chief of Country Living magazine says this about this common error: "I can't emphasize enough how an inch or even sometimes a half an inch can make a difference. And if your dimensions are off and it's not equal and symmetrical, you're not going to get the full impact and effect that you want. If you're not sure about how to measure or you can't follow the directions, don't hesitate at all to call somebody, ask them to come over and to take the measurement for you."
Not paying close attention to the prep work for a home renovation project can spell disaster. Simple things such as cleaning the subfloor of all dust and debris before adding new flooring can make for a much smoother application.
21. Not Doing the Prep Work "Do it the right way, right away," says Evans. "You shouldn't avoid your prep work. You want to take the time to do it right and right from the beginning." Adding to that wisdom is contractor Jim Collins: "It's a horrible, tedious process, and nobody likes it, but it saves so much time later on down the way. And that's what you're trying to do: save yourself money and time." 20. Using the Wrong Tools "There're really three problems with using the wrong tool: You can wreck the tool, you can wreck the project you're working on, and you can wreck yourself," notes Spike Carelsen, executive editor of Family Handyman. 19. Building a Small Bathroom "If you need a small bathroom, pick the right fixtures," says Little. "You can buy low-profile toilets and narrower sinks. Don't try to put full-size fixtures in a tiny, tiny bathroom. It's just going to be crowded." "I'm a real believer in using bold colors and bold prints, because boldness in small spaces actually makes it feel better," Soriano adds.
Pay attention to the lighting in a room, and don't be afraid to combine styles. Bright lights can be complemented nicely with soft candle light.
18. Ignoring Lighting
Hammer Heads carpenter Carmen De La Paz says, "Another mistake that homeowners will often make is not taking into consideration the lighting in their home. The lighting in your home can completely change the colors, the feeling, the ambiance."
Designed to Sell's Lisa LaPorta adds, "There are really three main types of lighting: general lighting, task lighting and drama or accent lighting. You need a combination to have a really good end design." 17. Going Too Trendy "People often make the mistake of wanting to be too hip and trendy in their new home by picking the latest, hottest, coolest things," says De La Paz. "What they don't take into consideration is that trendy means that it's short term." Jim Collins says, "You want something that's going to stand the test of time, and you want something that's going to last for years and years." 16. Building Small Doorways Evans issues this piece of advice on the subject: "Make sure you're looking at the entire floor plan of your home when you're planning your doorways. Look for, and make sure that every room has multiple exits. Or, if those doorways are in high-traffic areas, make sure thye're wide enough to let multiple people to pass through." 15. Failure to Anticipate Chaos "I think it's really important to anticipate the time and the pacing of your renovation," notes Soriano. "You probably want to do that up front, get it over with, and then you can slowly start to piece your life and your home back together." 14. Incorrect Storage of Materials
Marc Bartolomeo of Save My Bath says, "You should always store materials in a cool, dry place." Watson adds, "A roll of plastic will save you a lot of time and a lot of money, when it comes to wood and concrete. When it comes to tools and stuff like that, keep them inside." 13. Not Using Green Materials De La Paz weighs in on this one, saying, "People will often make the mistake of not going green with their home project for two reasons: (A), They don't know how to, and (B), they think that it costs more money." Not necessarily true, emphasizes Evans, "If you're doing your renovation green, you're really ahead of the market right now. So going green is a very smart investment."
Be sure to take the time to select not only the right shade of paint, but also the right type of paint for your particular wall surface. Ask someone at a home improvement store for help, if you are unsure.
12. Using the Wrong Paint "People often make the mistake of picking the wrong paint for whatever particular project they may be working on," says De La Paz. "You don't realize that there is paint for just about every surface."
"Flat is basically for your ceilings and sometimes for your walls," adds carpenter Jeff Devlin of Spice Up My Kitchen. "Whereas your semigloss would basically be for trim in a bathroom or in maybe a dining room. The glossy will give it a more upscale look." 11. Building Narrow Halls and Staircases "When you're renovating, bigger is always better when it comes to hallways and stairs," Collins says.
Windows can be expensive, but you don't want to skimp on quality. One way to save money is to put the bulk of your window budget toward those facing the street and spend less on those at the back of the house.
10. Choosing the Wrong Windows Little says, "Windows are really expensive, and a lot of people try to (save) money on them, but that's not where you want to save your money." Soriano adds, "You can always put more emphasis on the windows in the front of the house that face the street. That's one way to save on money, but do not skimp on quality." 9. Forgetting About Safety "The most important things you can have on a job site for your own personal safety are goggles to protect your eyes; ear protection to protect your hearing; and gloves to protect your hands from splinters, nails and such," says Collins. "(Also) a good set of boots because there are nails and sharp objects everywhere. The last thing is, you must have a first-aid kit." 8. Not Doing Your Homework "You have to know what you're getting into," says Evans. "Even if you're not doing the work yourself, know what to look for, what your contractor is doing. That way you can keep a close eye on the project and know when something's getting out of hand." Soriano adds, "I think it's really important to do at least some preliminary work. You want to be able to have enough information to know what questions to ask." 7. Forgetting to Update the Electrical System "I think people sometimes forget about electric when they've been renovating because it's expensive, it's costly and it's hidden," Soriano says. "You want to walk through the house with the electrician before you start to talk about outlets, where they are, where you want new outlets, three-prong outlets. You want to make sure everything's up to code."
Be sure to keep with the style of your home when you plan a renovation. If you have a Spanish-style place, then continue that theme throughout.
6. Ignoring Your Home's Style "You bought that Spanish home or that Craftsman home for a reason, because you liked that style. So keep your new design, your new build projects in that style," Watson insists. 5. Avoiding Permits The bottom line is "if you do perform work without a permit and something serious happens, your homeowner's insurance will not cover it," says Bartolomeo. 4. Setting an Unrealistic Budget "I think that people often underestimate what it's going to cost to do a big renovation, and part of that is because they don't realize the biggest cost in a renovation usually is, the labor," Soriano says. Devlin adds, "You never know what's going to happen once you start the demolition process. As soon as you open up a wall, you never know what you're going to find behind that wall, so you need to pad your budget, and you need to be realistic." 3. Hiring the Wrong Contractor "You need to make sure that the contractor is right for you, because he's going to be in your home, and you want to make sure it's the right contractor," Devlin says. Stephen Drucker, editor in chief of House Beautiful adds, "When you interview contractors and you check references, the thing you want to find out is, how fast do they return phone calls? A contractor who returns phone calls fast has nothing to hide, and it's going to reduce your anxiety level." 2. Taking On More Than You Can Handle "When people make the mistake of not knowing their limitations, they often take shortcuts," says De La Paz. Stromer explains, "You really do have to know up front where you're going, and you can't jump into things without having a plan." 1. Overbuilding for Your Neighborhood "The biggest mistake people make when they're trying to figure what the payback is going to be is they overbuild for their neighborhood," says Little. "They have a $100,000 house and they put a $100,000 addition on it, so now they have a $200,000 house in a $100,000 neighborhood."
*Source- HGTV

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Are you average? This is what first-time home buyers look like in Canada

Are you average? This is what first-time home buyers look like in Canada
By Linda Nguyen
Published Tuesday, Apr. 09 2013

The average first-time home buyer in Canada is 29 years old and expects to be able to put down a down payment of $48,000 on $300,000 home, according to a recent poll by the Bank of Montreal.
But the study, released Tuesday, also found that price expectations vary widely, depending on where the home buyer lives in.
Those in Atlantic Canada say they expect to spend an average of $224,000 on a first home, while those in British Columbia anticipate to pay an average of $454,000.
Vancouver topped the survey as the most expensive city, with buyers there saying they’re going to shell out an average of $539,000 for a home, followed by Calgary at $474,000 and Toronto at $446,000.
BMO mortgage expert Laura Parsons says like with any major purchase, it’s important for people be realistic and prepared.
“What we tend to do is jump in the market when we’re ready, instead of starting a plan now,” she said from Calgary.
“Let’s start getting ready for it so we can start giving you good advice all along the way. Don’t be afraid to get things going.”
And while a large down payment is impressive, it does not necessarily mean that young people are diligently saving for their first home. Instead, many may be getting help from their Baby Boomer parents or friends, said Parsons.
Forty-six per cent of those surveyed also they’ll choose a fixed mortgage rate when they buy, versus 20 per cent who will choose a variable rate.
The study also found that the average first-time home buyer plans on paying off the mortgage on their home within two decades, with 20 per cent anticipating they’ll be mortgage-free even earlier than that.
Twenty-three per cent of those surveyed say they will still have a mortgage within 25 years; 16 per cent say within 20 to 24 years and 20 per cent say within 10 to 19 years.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, seven per cent say it’ll take them more than 25 years to fully own their home, while three per cent say it’ll take them between 1 year to 9 years to pay it off.
The survey also found that 31 per cent admit they really don’t know when they’ll be able to stop making mortgage payments.
The Bank of Montreal report surveyed a random online sample of 2,000 Canadians between Feb. 25 to March 5.
The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

Source: The Canadian Press
Kevin & Faye Kitzman
Sales Representatives
Remax Real Estate Centre
Direct : 519-577-0603
Faye Kitzman
Mortgage Agent
Mortgage Intelligence

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Getting the House Ready to Sell- Part 3

Getting the House Ready to Sell

Ceilings, Walls, and Painting
Check all the ceilings for water stains, whether the leak is caused by plumbing or a faulty roof. Find the leak and repair it and make sure a proper job is done. Nothing irritates a buyer more than finding out - after the fact - about plumbing or roofing leaks. They will be talking about calling a lawyer faster than your car engine starts when you turn the ignition key.
If a water stain is left after something you have already repaired, do the cosmetic work necessary to improve the desirability of your home. That means painting.
You may have to paint anyway, especially if dirt has accumulated in spots or you have an outdated color scheme. Painting makes a home look fresh and new on the inside and never fails to impress.
Painting can be your best investment when selling your home. It is not a very expensive operation and often you can do it yourself. Do not choose colors based on your own preferences, but based on what would appeal to the widest possible number of buyers. You should almost always choose an off-white color because white helps your rooms appear bright and spacious.
Carpet and Flooring
Unless your carpet appears old and worn, or it is definitely an outdated style or color, you probably should do nothing more than hire a good carpet cleaner. If you do choose to replace it, do so with something inexpensive in a fairly neutral color.
Repair or replace broken floor tiles, but do not spend a lot of money on anything. Remember, you are not fixing up the place for yourself. You want to move. Your goal is simply to have few negative impressions upon those who may want to purchase your property.

Getting the House Ready to Sell

Windows and Doors
Check all of your windows to make sure they open and close easily. If not, a spray of WD40 often helps. Make sure there are no cracked or broken windowpanes. If there are, replace them before you begin showing your home.
Do the same things with the doors – make sure they open and close properly, without creaking. If they do, a shot of WD40 on the hinges usually makes the creak go away. Be sure the doorknobs turn easily, and that they are cleaned and polished to look sharp. As buyers go from room to room, someone opens each door and you want to do everything necessary to create a positive impression.
Odour Control
For those who smoke, you might want to minimize smoking indoors while trying to sell your home. Actually, it is best to move smoking outside. You could also purchase an ozone spray that helps to remove odours without creating a masking odor.
Apologies to pet owners, but pets come with odours. You may have become used to them, but they are immediately noticeable to those with more finely tuned olfactory senses.
For those with cats, be sure to empty kitty litter boxes daily and use plenty of baking soda. For dog owners, keep the dog outdoors as much as possible, even those adorable lovable little dogs. You might also try sprinkling carpet freshener on the carpet on a periodic basis.

Kevin & Faye Kitzman

Sales Representatives

Remax Real Estate Centre

Direct : 519-577-0603



Faye Kitzman

Mortgage Agent

Mortgage Intelligence



Monday, 1 April 2013

Getting the House ready to sell - Part 2 of Uncluttering the House

Getting the House Ready to Sell

Uncluttering the House, part 2

Closet Clutter
Closets are great for accumulating clutter, though you may not think of it as clutter. We are talking about extra clothes and shoes – things you rarely wear but cannot bear to be without. Do without these items for a couple of months by putting them in a box, because these items can make your closets look "crammed full." Sometimes there are shoeboxes full of "stuff" or other accumulated personal items, too.
Furniture Clutter
Many people have too much furniture in certain rooms – not too much for your own personal living needs – but too much to give the illusion of space that a homebuyer would like to see. You may want to tour some builders’ models to see how they place furniture in the model homes. Observe how they place furniture in the models so you get some ideas on what to remove and what to leave in your house.
Storage Area Clutter
Basements, garages, attics, and sheds accumulate not only clutter, but junk. These areas should be as empty as possible so that buyers can imagine what they would do with the space. Remove anything that is not essential and take it to the storage area.
Or have a garage sale.

Costs of Repairs
Do not do anything expensive, such as remodeling. If possible, use savings to pay for any repairs and improvements – do not go charging up credit cards or obtaining new loans. Remember that part of selling a house is also preparing to buy your next home. You do not want to do anything that will affect your credit scores or hurt your ability to qualify for your next mortgage.
Plumbing and Fixtures
When looking at a house, prospective home buyers often do not really know what to do. So they play with things. They flick light switches. They open everything with a handle. They turn on all the faucets and flush all the toilets. Having nice shiny fixtures makes an impression.
All your sink fixtures should look shiny and new. If this cannot be accomplished by cleaning, buy new ones. If you don’t buy something fancy, this can be accomplished inexpensively. Make sure all the hot and cold water knobs are easy to turn and that the faucets do not leak. If they do, replace the washers.
It sounds like hard work, but it's pretty easy -- even for the inexperienced.
Check to make sure you have good water pressure and that there are no stains on any of the porcelain. If you have a difficult stain to remove, one trick is to hire a cleaning crew to go through and clean your home on a one-time basis. They seem to be wonderful at making stains go away