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Houston Contractor Can Help You Prepare Your House for The Market

Posted on July 9, 2023 by Hunt Holdridge

While the Houston real estate market is firing on all cylinders, if you want to put your home up for sale, you still need to make sure that your house is in the best condition possible to fetch top dollar for it. Hiring a contractor in Houston to make the necessary repairs and maintenance can pay off in the end.

In hot real estate markets, some sellers are willing to overlook some minor issues. However, you will still need to take several steps to make your home presentable from the moment a potential buyer drives up to the front of your house.

One of the first things prospective buyers will think is, how much work do I need to put into this house after I buy it? It all starts outside.

A Buyer’s Perspective: The Exterior

Go outside and take a look at your home and consider what agents and their clients would see. First impressions matter, so it’s important to ensure that everything looks great. 

Fences take quite a beating over the years, but the change is gradual, and you may not notice it. If your fence looks like it’s leaning or some of the wood looks like it’s rotting, ask your contractor to fix the posts. The contractor should remove any moss, mildew and graying, as well as any old paint. After they’re done, they should pressure-wash the fence and then apply a protective coating. 

Next, take a look at your gutters, downspouts, exterior doors, and windows. 

While maintaining the gutters might seem like an easy DIY job, having the proper equipment matters. Gutters could be quite high, making them unreachable unless you have a tall ladder. A good contractor or handyman will have those available and will make sure to clear any visible debris. And make sure the downspouts are in good condition—you could also paint them to give them a fresh look.

You could also give your house an inviting look by repainting the exterior doors. Consult with your contractor to see what color might add some pizzazz to a dull- and worn-looking door.

Same with the windows, especially the trim. If the paint looks like it’s peeling or cracking, ask your contractor to sand and repaint them. A bright color could add that spark to the exterior of the home that will jump out to a buyer. 

The Interior

Regardless of whether you have hardwood floors or carpeting, make sure that the flooring is in good condition.

If you have hardwood floors, consider refinishing them if they look worn or the sheen is gone, especially in high-traffic areas. Refinishing hardwood floors is something best left to a contractor instead of trying to do it yourself. There are fumes and dust to deal with, and if the job isn’t done right, you could end up with noticeable flaws. 

Carpets, especially old ones, can retain odors that you may not notice because they build up over time. An agent or buyer, though, will notice it immediately. If your carpet is more than a couple of years old and is showing signs of wear and tear, consider replacing them before your house goes on the market. Alternatively, if the carpet isn’t too old, you could ask your contractor or a handyman to steam clean them.

The Kitchen

Doing a full kitchen remodel is probably not a good option if you’re putting your house up for sale. It can be a costly venture, and it could delay putting the house up for sale. However, there are some things you could do to freshen it up without spending an arm and a leg. 

First, make sure the walls and cabinets are clean and free of grease.

Ask your contractor to repaint the walls. This might be one of the most cost-effective items to upgrade the kitchen without spending a small fortune. A paint job can instantly transform the room. Choose bright colors that go well with your existing cabinets. Make sure that your contractor patches holes and any other damage on the walls.  

You could also replace the cabinet hardware, especially if your current hardware is old and out of style. Your contractor might offer handyman services, which would be perfect for this task. Just make sure that the new hardware fits the holes in the cabinets so you don’t have to drill any new holes. 

For a fresh, modern look, consider changing out the lighting in the kitchen. If you have an island with pendant lighting or a chandelier, replace them with modern ones. While this is another task that might seem easy to do, you should let a licensed contractor do the work for your safety and the security of your home. Electricity is not something you want to mess with if you don’t have the experience.

Floor replacement in the kitchen is also a good option that will not break the bank. If you have old-style linoleum or worn tile floors, replacing them will immediately upgrade your kitchen. There are many inexpensive options to consider: vinyl, modern linoleum, and laminate. Engineered wood is a good option, but it is a little more expensive than the three previous ones.

In general, vinyl comes in sheets and is the cheapest option. Linoleum is a little more expensive and also comes in sheets. Both of these are low maintenance.

Laminate flooring is a great choice if you want the look of hardwood floors but don’t want to spend the money. It is durable and easy to maintain.

Engineered flooring, as mentioned above, is more expensive, but a home buyer will recognize it as something they will not have to deal with in the future. You should have your contractor install this type of flooring, especially if the subsurface is uneven. 

Finally, consider replacing the faucet. This is a relatively inexpensive way to modernize a kitchen, even if your current one isn’t leaking or damaged. 

The Bathroom(s)

Bathrooms are easy to update without spending a ton of money.

As with the kitchen, repainting the walls will go a long way to showing a buyer that the house is well-maintained. You could also consider installing modern wallpaper.

Do you have cracked tiles around the shower or other areas in your bathroom? You might need to replace them with something more modern. Make sure the contractor inspects the wall behind any cracked tiles to make sure there’s no mold hidden back there.

Replace the vanity for an instant, modern look. You could buy a combo vanity with a sink and have your contractor install them. There is plumbing involved with this, so having a licensed contractor do the work can save you from future leaks and damage to your bathroom.

If your toilet is more than a few years old and is showing signs of usage—worn areas on the seat, rust showing around the metal screws, for example—maybe replace it with a new one. While prices for a new toilet range from under $100 to several thousand dollars, you don’t need to spend too much to give your bathroom an upgrade. This is a fairly easy install, and your contractor could do it very quickly.

Other Considerations

Consult with your contractor to see what other upgrades might need to be done before your house goes on the market. The contractor might have other suggestions that could improve the look of your house. For example, you might want to consider having the interior of the house repainted. A fresh coat of paint is always a good option to refresh your home.

First impressions are very important when you put your house up for sale. Some buyers will look at a house and keep a tally of potential fixes and upgrades they might need to make after they purchase the house. While your house doesn’t have to be in “showroom condition,” it should be presentable. A good contractor in Houston can help you get there. Contact Make Ready Residential for a complimentary walkthrough and itemized estimate. 

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