For Sale (Almost)?

When it's selling time, there are a few things to keep in mind. As homeowners, we all make a lot of memories in our homes, and there's no doubt it's emotional to say goodbye to the well-loved kitchens and family rooms when they go on the market.

Unfortunately, potential buyers will not be charmed by that "lived-in look."

As a Realtor who works to get ready of selling time, here are a few simple DIY projects that will help make things look sharp. These little fixes will rejuvenate some common trouble areas and make homes more appealing to fussy buyers...

1) Cracked Tiles.

While tile holds up almost indefinitely to all kinds of wear-but sadly, tile cracks if something heavy is dropped on it. We sometimes live with cracked tiles, putting off the task of replacing them. It's relatively simple to replace broken tile: remove the grout, mask the surrounding tiles with tape, loosen the tile, chisel out the pieces, set the new tile, fill the perimeter with new grout and allow the grout to dry. Goodbye, shabby tile.

2) Scratches and dings and gouges, oh my!


Wall and cabinetry dings happen as a matter of living in your home. Even the best kept stairwells get beaten up over the years due to high traffic. Here's how to make things look better: Minor scratches can be wiped clean with mineral oil, lightly sanded with fine grade sandpaper and sealed with polyurethane. Scratches that penetrate the finish can be filled with a like-colored furniture repair stick. The product consists of wax and putty, and is easy to apply. Follow with a coat of polyurethane.

Not quite a gouge, but deeper than a scratch? Use wood putty in a matching color. Gouges also can be treated with wood putty. Make the repair, let it dry and apply the polyurethane.

3) Counter intelligence?

Bags of groceries, stubborn food stains and the occasional misfire with a kitchen knife are all to blame for counter surfaces looking scuffed and sad. Fortunately, there are simple solutions that won't leave your wallet empty.

Here's what to do: Laminate is a repair-friendly surface: a color-matched repair pen or paste will camouflage most scratches. Be careful not to overfill, and gently sand the excess when dry. The remnants of past meals can be removed using a paste made from baking soda and water. Leave the paste for a few hours and wipe away. No need to rub or scrub.

Minor scratches on Corian can be treated by using a mild abrasive liquid cleaner on a damp sponge, rubbing over the scratch in small, overlapping circular motions, and rinsing with clean water. Wipe the surface completely dry, and repeat if the blemish is still visible. Deeper scratches should be treated following the manufacturer's instructions. With a little elbow grease and a modest investment of time and money, you can bring the sexy back to worn surfaces.