Before a Berks County real estate home buyer enters a home that is for sale their senses are already at work. Sight is normally the first sense used. Second is hearing, unless there is such a rancid smell outside the home it cannot be ignored. Some of the sounds around a home can be controlled by the owners, some cannot. Read on for important home staging tips. There are many Berks County homes for sale so it’s important that your home looks and sounds its best before it goes on the market.
Things like trains close by the home cannot be controlled. This is similar to living next to a busy road or highway. Loud music and barking dogs coming from the sellers home likely can be controlled.
In this article I will point out items relating to a Berks County home buyers sense of hearing and how they affect the staging of a home. There will be things that we recognize as a potential issue and take control of. The things we cannot control can be managed.
- The Entrance: Does the front door creak? Find the oil can and use it on all door hinges in and outside the home. Is there a screen door that makes a racket or shuts loudly? Fix it, replace it or remove it! Is the stereo or TV playing music, if so, make it pleasant and peaceful. Are there animals making noises? Try to remove them prior to the showing. Story Time…I recently listed a home where a wonderful lady resides. One of her companions was a large cockatoo. It did not take kindly to strangers and was not afraid to let them know it. It became known by agents as the “Bird House”. This is not the sound you want during a showing.
- Are their dripping faucets or toilets that will not stop running? Fixing these drips and leaks is a must. Is the radiator or hot water heating system pinging? This could be due to air in the pipes. Have them bled. Have noisy vent fans in the baths or over the range? Repair or replace them. Are their creaky floors? This could indicate questionable construction to the buyer. Annoying floor squeaks, not uncommon in many homes typically occur after the house has settled and flooring lumber has dried out and shrunk. As you walk across the floor, boards rub against each other or slide against nail shafts to produce a cacophony of squeaks and creaks. Loose sub-flooring, both solid board and plywood types, will also emit high-pitched chirps. Traditional hardwood strip flooring is the most susceptible to developing a case of the squeaks, but all types of flooring can creak. The good news is that it’s easy to silence nearly any squeak in a matter of minutes. Here are some clues…
- If you can get to the floor joist from underneath you can tap a wood shim into the gap above the floor joist after smearing the shim with carpenter’s glue or; drive a drywall screw at an angle up through the joist and shim and into the plywood sub-floor above.
- Under carpeting: You can use the Squeak No More Kit.
- Under hardwood flooring: After locating the squeak, bore a 3/32-in.-dia. pilot hole through the hardwood flooring; it isn’t necessary to hit a joist below. 2. set the Counter-Snap’s depth-control fixture over the pilot hole. Drive the screw down until it bottoms out and automatically snaps off. 3. Fill the pilot hole with tinted wood putty. Allow it to dry, and then lightly sand the spot. You can also use a crayon-type putty stick.
- Quieting Squeaky Stairs: The typical interior staircase produces more squeaks and squawks than a flock of angry geese. The reason? Staircases are assembled from dozens of wood parts. Over time, these parts expand and contract and the joints between them loosen up. As a result, every step you take emits an irritating creak or groan. Look for access to the back of the stairs in closets and the basement — these repairs are the most effective. From the rear, tap glue-coated shims into the joints between the horizontal treads and vertical risers. Or, screw wood blocks into the corners where he risers meet the treads. When you can’t get behind the staircase, try one of these topside repairs: Take several very thin wood shims and tap them into any loose or squeaky joints that you find. Neatly trim off the shims with a utility knife. Another way to reinforce loose parts is to glue and nail a length of quarter-round molding along each step.
- Miscellaneous Thoughts: Turn off the ringer and/or answering machine of your phone during a showing. Story time…I have more than once been engaged in a home showing and the owners phone starts to Ring. This is a mood breaker. Are you running a dehumidifier in the basement? Obviously this is something the buyer sees and hears. The buyer will turn and ask if there is or was a water or moisture problem with the basement. There may not be, but the impression has been made. If it is needed leave it, if not, remove the unit completely.
- Ideas to Handle Things out of Your Control: In your plans for staging a home for sale, keep loud neighbors in mind and shut the windows during a showing. Especially if they have loud pets. Trains, Traffic, Plains & other uncontrollable exterior noise. This could get more involved. Things like beefing up wall & attic insulation will help quiet the home. Caulking around doors & windows. If you have single pane windows it may be worth replacing them with dual pane windows. Wood clad is more sound proof than vinyl extruded.
Obviously there are Berks County home buyers that would be hard pressed to purchase a home in an area where noise is prevalent.
For Berks County home buyers who will consider living in these areas they will likely look for other enhancements to make up for the noise issue. Great back yards with fences, quality, well-kept homes, great baths & kitchens and nice garages are great enhancements.
Ultimately the home must speak to the buyers in a special manner. Make sure the home is not saying things that will bring the home’s value into question. Sometimes, it is not what you say that matters; it is what the buyer hears.
Jeffrey C. Hogue