If you are lucky enough to have one or more fireplaces in a home that you are considering putting on the market then you should take advantage of this selling point and stage your home with the fireplace as a focus. A fireplace can make a home feel much more inviting when prospective buyers come for a tour, particularly if the weather is dreary and cold. However, many sellers don’t realize that if a room with a fireplace isn’t correctly staged then the fireplace can be overlooked or even seen as a detractor to a home.
Before you do anything, if your chimney hasn’t been cleaned out within the last year, contact a professional chimney sweep and get that done first. A clean chimney is a safe chimney!
The next thing that you need to do to give your fireplace a positive focus is to give it a good thorough cleaning. Scoop all the ashes out and then vacuum it with a shop vac; a regular vacuum can get clogged with the fine ash dust.
With some hot soapy water and a scrub brush, give the inside of your fireplace a thorough scrubbing. You can put newspapers in the bottom of the fireplace to absorb excess water while you do this. If the brickwork doesn’t come as clean as you’d like, try using a wire brush to do the scrubbing with. At this point you can see if there are any problem areas that might require the assistance of a professional to repair loose bricks or mortar.
Once the inside of the fireplace is clean you will need to clean the outside of the fireplace and the mantlepiece. If the mantle is very soot stained and made from brick or stone, use a wire brush to remove as much of the powdery residue as you can, vacuum the dust as you go. If your mantle is a painted material, it may be your best option to repaint it after you’ve cleaned it as best you can. Inquire at your local home improvement store about products that can cover soot stains if you can’t remove all of it before you paint.
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If your mantle is undersized for your fireplace, or you’d just like to make it a bigger focal point in your living room, you can add trim around the edges to make it bigger and more ornate. Crown Molding can work well to increase the size of a mantle and add some fabulous drama to your room.
One last idea to help make your newly cleaned fireplace the focal point of your living or bedroom is to arrange your furniture so that the fireplace isn’t ignored. When you look at how many people arrange their living room, you can see that most of them are arranged so that the seating is angled so that the focus is on the television; instead arrange your furniture so that everyone in the seating area can see the fireplace instead.
If you take the time to clean up your fireplace and make it a focal point in your home it can become a great selling point to your home while a dirty, neglected fireplace can really be a big detractor to buyers because they see it as work that they’ll need to take care of if they buy the home.
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