Video Video

STEVE:  Welcome!  Steve Westmark. Thanks for watching my video blog again this week.  I’ve decided to bring in a professional in the area of home repairs, and it’s Tim Oberg with Homecraft Services.  So welcome, Tim.

TIM:  Good morning, Steve.  It’s good to be here.

STEVE:  Great.  The vast majority of my sellers when I meet with them about putting their home on the market I recommend they get a home inspection.  So Tim, when inspections come back to sellers, what do you help them with in repairs on their inspections?

TIM:  Well, Steve, when an inspector presents a homeowner with an inspection list, normally, the homeowner will go through and say well, a lot of these little items I can take care of.  There’s a light bulb out here.  There’s maybe a little bit of minor painting needs to be done in this area.  And typically there may be a handful of things that they do not want to do on their own, and a lot of times they’ll call in a contractor like myself to come in and say we need to check for this plumbing leak or we need to repair some stained ceilings or something like that.

A lot of potential homebuyers like to come in and they’ll look around and if they see some problems with the ceilings in particular, it can indicate a problem with leaking above in a bathroom or something upstairs, and that can be a quick turnoff.  So some of those things need to be addressed.  A lot of homeowners aren’t comfortable dealing with that much of a repair, scraping, filling, sanding a ceiling, that kind of thing.  So that’s where we can help them out in a lot of those different areas.

STEVE:  Well, sometimes, Tim, also we run into lots of different things, and I know I’ve had you do multiple types of things.  What are some of the things that you do to help sellers with their properties getting them prepared?

TIM:  Well, Steve, a lot of times we see that it’s the details that count.  You come in and there’s some trim that needs to be finished.  I’ve done a lot of that.  Kitchen cabinets.  Kitchen is a real important area.  So a kitchen cabinet door faces sometimes can be redone.  Countertops, you don’t necessarily have to go with a full new marble countertop or full kitchen remodel.  But just addressing the details. 

I did one recently here where just the wooden cabinet faces needed to be restained and retouched up.  Give them a whole new look and then repaint some trim around a window that had flaked off and it just addressed those details.  It’s the details that count.  The other thing, windows can fog up.  You don’t need to replace the whole window.

Being a licensed contractor, I work with a number of subs so I can kind of be a one-stop shop.  I can have my glass guy come in and just replace just the glass panel that is fogged up and you get a brand new clean window without having to tear out and replace a whole window for a thousand dollars or more.  So that helps the homeowners quite a bit.

STEVE:  Many times, as I work with buyers walking through properties, no matter where they’re at, they’ll horriblize an issue.  And what I find by bringing Tim in to work on these issues is he takes the problem that seems so big and brings it down to a smaller solution that can save money.  So with all that in mind, Tim, what would you do that would be the three biggest returns on investments that you could help a client with off the top of your head?

TIM:  Well, I would say, Steve, that the top three or four would be investing in your kitchen.  It’s the first room that a lot of buyers will look at when they come in.  Some of the details like we talked about before—kitchens, bathrooms are another good place where you can get most if not maybe sometimes more of your investment back in what you put into touching up or remodeling your kitchen or bathroom .

The other big plus you can gain some value is maybe you’ve got a den or an office room in your basement that you could convert to another bedroom.  You could put an egress window in.  All of a sudden, you’ve added another bedroom without major add-on to the house.  So that’s a good way to gain some value and make it more inviting to a potential buyer.

STEVE:  Well, Tim, thanks for coming in today.  It’s great to have a guy on my team that can help my sellers and even my buyers as they have inspections.  And Tim, thanks so much for coming today.

TIM:  It’s been great to be here.  Thanks, Steve.