If selling your home was as easy as putting up a sign and publicizing a price, that would be…well, a dream. Literally. There’s so very much more to it, and it’s not a task to take lightly or attempt on your own. Represented by sophisticated realtors, today’s buyers are more educated and, shall we say, more finicky than ever before. Realtors also help develop educated sellers and guide them through the process to get the best return possible on their investment.
According to realtors we’ve talked to in the area, one of the primary things that homebuyers are looking for today are houses that are move-in ready—with updated kitchens, bathrooms, cabinetry and no unfinished basements or rooms. Another big one is curb appeal; if the exterior of your home and lawn aren’t well-kept and updated, you’ll have trouble drawing potential buyers in to see all the work you’ve done inside. Maintenance is crucial inside and out.
The resell remodeling industry has not gone untouched by the COVID pandemic, with housing trends changing to fit the times. According to the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), walk-in master bedroom closets, low emissivity windows, and laundry rooms are the most oft-requested features in a new home as of January 2020. With that in mind, the NAHB reported that two of the biggest adjustments they expect to see in housing trends post-COVID are increases in the demand for home offices and exercise rooms. Storage Concepts Inc. (storageconceptsinc.com) Owner Ed Abersfeller said all manners of home organization have been in high demand in recent years, and he’s already seen increased demand for home offices in the Omaha area in 2020.
“We see this trend appearing here locally with so many people working from home,” Ed said. “Interestingly, most home offices in remodeling we’re doing are designated to a spare bedroom, where we then incorporate a Murphy bed to maintain the functionality of a guest bedroom. The question now is: ‘Will this trend continue post-COVID-19?’ We believe it will.”
Storage Concepts Inc. is the oldest custom-closet company in the state of Nebraska, and they have a wonderful history with their customers across the entire upper Midwest. As a family-owned, non-franchise business, they are free to offer customers any range of products—from the closet to the garage, pantry, home office, or wine cellar—that best meets their wants and needs.
If you’re working from home or the kids are remote learning—or both—consider some of the fabulous home-office concepts that Storage Concepts Inc. can accomplish for you. They can truly bring your dreams to life.
“Let us get you out from behind the dining room table and maximize your productivity with a workspace that keeps your files close and at hand while giving you and your family ample work room, even with all the computers, tablets, school packets, and more,” Ed said. “Whether you have a corner nook, a flex room, or a designated space for a full home office, we have a solution to maximize the efficiency of that space. The choices are as unlimited as your imagination!”
When homebuyers are looking for a new home, they’re looking for something that appears to have been cared for with pride, which points up the importance of maintaining all of its components throughout its lifetime. That includes floors, counters, showers, and all other surfaces. The fine details truly count, and Lifetime Stone Restoration (www.lifetimestone.com) handles all types of stone restoration, including floors, counters, showers, tables, stairs, fireplaces, entryways, and even tombstones. Their specialty services include natural stone polishing, granite cleaning, sealing, chip and seal repair, tile and grout cleaning and sealing, and tiled shower cleaning, sealing, and re-caulking. These represent crucial maintenance tasks that potential homebuyers will notice.
“If a seller has not done the basics, potential buyers are going to assume that they haven’t maintained the big things, either, said Lifetime Stone Restoration Owner Don Mlnarik. “When it comes time to sell, we help a lot of clients who realize they have not maintained their house as they should have. We can help them with some basic updating items, such as re-caulking their backsplashes and cleaning their tiled floors, up to more detailed work, such as polishing a marble floor.”
Proper surface care is particularly important in the wake of COVID-19, as potential homebuyers want to feel comfortable that it is clean and disinfected. Don’t jump to the conclusion that you need a new floor, though. There might be ways to bring it back to life without replacing it.
“Homebuyers will look at a tiled floor to see if it is maintained,” Don said. “If it is dirty or grout is missing, we can fix that. Sometimes your tiled floor looks outdated, but instead of replacing it, sometimes changing the color of the grout can bring new life to your floor. Showers are something else that potential homebuyers want to see sparkle. We can make sure the moldy caulk is replaced and remove all the soap buildup from the tiles and grout. Similarly, if you have stone floors or counters, like marble, travertine, or limestone, we can make those look like new again.”
Lifetime Stone Restoration restores stone work naturally using diamonds to give it the natural appearance you’re looking for. All stone work is done dust-free, so you don’t have to worry about extra cleanup when they’re done bringing it back to life. What’s more, they have been doing stone restoration work since 2008, making them the most experienced stone restoration company in the area. Locally owned and operated, they do not have to deal with a franchise or corporate office telling them how to do their jobs. They are constantly updating their equipment and processes so they are always producing the best results possible. Give Lifetime Stone Restoration a try and bring your house back to life before selling it. Shoot, don’t even wait until it’s time to sell; get it done now so you can enjoy the results for a while, too!
Bathrooms are one of the key rooms in a home that should be repaired, remodeled, or added before selling. Having functional bathrooms—and enough of them—should be a primary goal before listing your home. Potential buyers evaluate bathrooms in terms of the colors, the style, the layout, and the fixtures. They like to see new cabinets, vanities, and showers because those updates signal quality and value. If it’s in your budget to take on a complete bathroom remodel, it might be worth doing in some cases—but there’s a lot you can do to improve the space without that. Bath Fitter (www.bathfitter.com) has more than 35 years of experience installing the bathtub you’ve always wanted to upgrade the look of your bathroom quickly and affordably!
“We specialize in tub solutions and tub-to-shower conversions that can be completed in as little as a day in most cases,” said Brandon Delaney, branch manager of Bath Fitter in Omaha. “We offer a better way to replace your bathtub and cover encompassing walls, plus add new bathroom fixtures. Clients are constantly amazed at how quickly we can make their entire bathrooms look completely new and modern.”
Bath Fitter’s acrylic bathtub liners go over your existing tub, eliminating the need for tub removal, so there is no demolition required. The company also can convert your tub to a shower area, per your preference or if you need to achieve easier access. You can also choose from their collection of faucets, shower rods, soap dishes, ceilings, wainscoting, and more to achieve the look you’re going for.
Of course, not everything that’s important in a bathroom can be seen. The age and quality of your plumbing is crucial, and don’t fool yourself: Homebuyers WILL check it out.
“The quality of bathrooms in a home is important to potential buyers,” said Lallenia Birge with Big Birge Plumbing (www.bigbirgeplumbing.com). “One leaky faucet could deter an interested buyer. While it may not bother you, buyers are just seeing money toward a water bill dripping down the drain a dollar at a time. Recently, more and more people are looking into our water-saving options and efficient fixtures. We also have our eco-friendly, low-flow toilets. They help save money on water bills, and they’re a big selling point to buyers.”
At Big Birge Plumbing, we understand the importance of both budget-friendly and aesthetically pleasing bathroom options for people remodeling to sell. Recently, we’ve seen a significant shift in the number of people wanting energy-efficient yet high-performance toilets, sinks, and faucets in their bathrooms. They’re definitely a highlight on a house tour, especially if you’re able to compare your water bill from before and after the remodel. Some other simple fixes in the bathroom are re-grouting the tile, replacing caulk, and changing mirrors.”
Sometimes, a bathroom is just too outdated to work in your home. If you have a sleek, modern aesthetic all throughout your home, but your bathroom looks the same as it did when Reagan was in office, it’s probably time to invest in an update.
Big Birge Plumbing does all things plumbing for bathroom and kitchen remodels, and their team is known to take pride in their work, be prompt and efficient, and to leave your home as clean as they found it. This family-owned business can help you with your clogged toilets, drain cleaning, water-heater repair, gas or water piping, and more. They provide clean, trustworthy plumbers who are licensed, bonded, and insured.
When it comes to plumbing, it’s best to let the professionals take care of the work. You might be tempted to figure a problem out yourself in order to save some money, but there is a reason it takes so much training and experience to be considered a Master Plumber. You’ll likely end up spending more money if you go down the DIY path and the problem ends up getting worse because you didn’t really know what you were doing.
All Charged Up
We recommend that you heed the same warning when it comes to electrical work. Not only can it be costly try to do the work yourself, it can also be dangerous. Dealing with wires and outlets is serious business. If you’re going to be doing a remodeling project, chances are there will be electrical work involved.
When you’re preparing to complete a remodel in your home, don’t forget to strategize your energy needs and upgrades, with an eye toward maximizing energy efficiency and functionality for the long term. To accomplish this, you’ll want to be sure to hire a professional who can ensure that your electric upgrades are compliant with all codes and are safe for you and your family.
Langer Electric (www.facebook.com/LangerElectricCo) provides excellent and affordable electrical service to clients in Omaha and the surrounding area. The company strives to have repeated good experiences with its customers. Owner Chris Langer has many years of experience, and it’s important to him to keep his services affordable. Aside from overseeing the wiring and panel work during a project, Langer Electric also installs light fixtures. Specifically, he said, LED lights are great attractions for potential buyers.
“The hottest trend is upgrading everything to LED,” Chris said. “It seems like they keep coming out with easier products to install. It’s not such a big, bulky product anymore. Plus, LED’s use 90% less electricity than the standard incandescent bulb, so you’re getting more light for less power. Also, Wi-Fi switches are continually improving. People can install and control everything throughout their house, including security cameras. It’s like a one-stop shop that can all be controlled through an app on an iPad or phone. It’s becoming almost standard these days to have 24/7 surveillance of your home sent right to your phone.”
There’s nothing like having your home at the perfect temperature. If you’re constantly nudging your thermostat back and forth to maintain a consistent room temperature, potential buyers are going to feel the inconsistency, too. You might consider “remodeling” your HVAC systems before selling your home. Getzschman Heating (www.getzschman.com) has everything you need to achieve seamless heat and cooling management to make your home your true comfort zone. They offer G-Verify testing and system efficiency diagnostics to ensure your installation or upgrade runs at its best.
“We do a test drive for every installation we do,” said Scott Getzschman. “We use a program that’s called G-Verify, and we verify that your system is installed and tested before and after to make sure it is running at the same efficiency that is recommended by the manufacturer. With this program, we make sure that when it’s up and running, it’s not only safe and comfortable but that you’re going to receive the full benefit of the efficiency that you paid for when you sell your home.”
Getzschman Heating is one of Nebraska’s premier heating and air conditioning repair and installation companies. They pride themselves on being a family business that has been locally owned and operated since its inception in 1960. They offer a 100% customer-satisfaction guarantee that they back in writing, and all of their G-Force technicians are highly trained and background-checked. They provide free estimates on equipment replacement, and you can talk to a real person 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. What’s more, Getzschman can handle your financing needs, and they are fully licensed, bonded, and insured.
“We’re the company that you can trust with your house keys,” Scott said.
Finally, if you are among the more than one in five households in the U.S. that rely on septic systems, prepare for it to possibly be a little off-putting for potential buyers who are unfamiliar with them. The best thing to do to prevent confusion and concern during the selling process is to complete proper maintenance of your system throughout its lifetime and perform a complete septic assessment before you list your home on the market.
“To start, septic tanks should be routinely pumped every three to five years,” said Aimee Hoffmann, office manager at Midland Pumping Service (www.midlandpumpingservice.com). “The frequency of pumps is determined by your household size, septic-tank size, amount of waste generated, and other factors. If you don’t do these regular maintenance checks, you could end up spending thousands of dollars to repair or replace your malfunctioning system when it comes time to sell your home. Some banks won’t give mortgages to potential buyers if there are any issues with the septic system, so it could very possibly limit your number of offers.”
In addition to making your home harder to cell, skipping proper maintenance of your septic system could be dangerous to you, your family, your neighbors, and the environment.
“Improperly treated sewage has the potential to contaminate all nearby surface waters,” Aimee said. “Malfunctioning septic tanks release bacteria, viruses, and chemicals to local waterways. You can promote the health of your system by not flushing random items and chemicals, like paper towels, paints, coffee grounds, kitty litter, and dental floss. Basically no non-biodegradable products should be put into your septic system through drains or toilets.”
Midland Pumping provides superior pumping services, which are always prompt and affordable. They offer free estimates, a knowledgeable staff, and more than 25 years of experience. Let Midland help you with pumping and drain cleaning, grease trap systems, and septic tanks, to help your home sale go off without a hitch.
Even in a seller’s market like the Omaha housing market continues to experience in 2020, it’s important to consider how you can maximize the value of your home before putting it on the market. Just don’t try doing it on your own. We recommend contacting some of the professionals we’ve featured here to get the right work done right!