The house interior has been completely repainted. It took a couple days longer than anticipated, but the results were well worth the extra time. It looks wonderful and fresh. No personality, but nothing to bitch about either.
My dad replaced all the bathroom faucets because we still had the 13 year old, builder-grade ones installed and they looked horrible. I bought some inexpensive brushed nickel fixtures and my poor father spent days swapping them in. The builder installed the faucets ass-backwards which turned a relatively simple job into a huge time suck. And far more frustrating than imaginable. The new faucets are pristine and again, nothing to bitch about.
I had the old refrigerator hauled away. The finish was getting pitted with rust and sometime after we moved out, it had begun to flake and peel. It looked like appliance eczema. Gross. Now there’s an empty but freshly painted spot for someone else’s fridge to live.
The downstairs carpet had been deep cleaned a week or two after we moved, but not the upstairs or stairwell carpet. My thought had been that anyone in their right mind would replace 13 year-old carpet that had been home to three young children and various cats. But the carpet got bitched about a lot by realtors, so I had it all cleaned. I’m pretty sure Harry Potter owns the local Stanley Steemer franchise, because they worked some serious magic. All sorts of disgusting, ground-in stains disappeared. Poof!
Since they were at the house anyway, I also had Stanley Steemer clean the tile and grout. All of which now looks brand new. No lie. When it was finished, my dad remarked, “I’d forgotten the grout was white.”
Yeah, it was…not pristine. Now? Again, nothing to bitch about.
Finally, we made a few minor repairs. We took down a broken “vanishing” screen door, which had been so good at vanishing that my kids would run right into and through it. We patched and painted the door frame.
I scrubbed and repainted the pantry shelves. Those damn shelves had been an eyesore for years, but I could never summon the energy to empty the pantry out and repaint while we lived there.
And that’s the big lesson I learned from all this. When I walked around the house and looked at what we’d accomplished with 10 days and $2,500, I kicked myself for not doing some of it while we lived there.
The faucets could’ve been replaced and enjoyed instead of dealing with the pitted crap we had.
The tile and grout could’ve been professionally cleaned making the entry and kitchen more inviting.
The screen should’ve been removed many years ago. Leaving it was pure laziness.
The pantry shelves took me less than three hours to clean and repaint. Granted, the kitchen would’ve been a mess with food all over the counters for a day or so, but it’s a small price to pay.
I spent a lot of time cleaning and maintaining certain things in that house, but I spent even more time griping and ignoring what turned out to be easily remedied issues. Go ahead and deal with those things that drive you nuts. Don’t wait until you’re desperate.
I have a feeling this lesson applies to more than getting a house sold.