Preparing Your Pool for the Realty Market
Staging a home is often talked about as a great strategy when selling your home. To make your home your very best, you clean and paint, de-clutter and re-decorate with an artist’s flair. If the home also has a pool, staging a pool for the home sale just makes sense. Staging a pool is not difficult, but it requires that you take off your pool owner goggles, because you’ve grown accustomed to a lot over the years, and accepted little deficiencies that should now be addressed. To get the largest ROI, you’ve got to stage your pool for listing photos, walkthrough traffic and open houses.
Here are some tips to get a pool ready before listing your home on the realty market.
1. Clean the Equipment Area
Start staging your pool by trimming back any overhanging branches or cutting back or removing bushes that have overgrown into the pool equipment pad area. Then sweep, hose or blow all debris from the pad, and rake up around the pad. Spray weed killer around the equipment pad to improve air flow and drainage, and for a neat appearance. Inspect the path to the equipment pad, and consider any quick improvements to appearance or safety. If your equipment sits in a gravel area, bring in enough new gravel to cover the area an inch deep, after cleaning out leaves and twigs.
2. Clean the Equipment
Literally scrub the equipment clean. Put on the gloves and scrub the filter tank with an abrasive chlorine cleanser like Ajax or Comet, and hose it off. Stainless steel tanks can be polished with metal cleaners. Plastic pumps, valves and chlorinators can also be scrubbed clean (outside only please) with a cleanser and some elbow grease. The chlorinated abrasive cleansers will bleach the white PVC pipes to a former shade of white, and also help clean up stained concrete underneath the pump and filter. Pool heaters can be cleaned, but better to clean out the inside of the heater, sweeping it out and removing any cobwebs.
3. Tune-Ups to Equipment
Small stuff, like a shiny new $9 pressure gauge, or a pump basket without a crack in it and the handle missing. How about a new label for the multiport backwash valve, or a replacement handle / knob for your Jandy valve. You’ve gone blind to all of these little less than perfect things, but a pool inspector, agent or prospective buyer will take notice, either consciously, or sub-consciously. Make your pool look like it has been well maintained by replacing any worn missing or broken parts. Larger stuff too, like removing defective pool heaters, broken-down solar reels, or having loud pump motors rebuilt so they run smooth and quiet during home showings, can be pool staging money well spent. Other easy to replace pool parts include skimmer weirs, baskets and lids, ladder and rail parts, and the old backwash hose. Replace your worn out pool cleaning tools and poles. Leaky o-rings and gaskets on the equipment pad should also be repaired, so everything looks dry, as a leaking pool is one of the largest ‘pool phobias’ for prospective buyers. Inspect the pool cleaner also for wearable items that are in need of replacement and do them now. This gives the appearance that the pool has been maintained at the highest level.
4. Electrical Safety
Another one of those things that we go blind to around our own pool, but that can make the whole pool equipment pad look scary and uninviting. Leaning or wobbly electrical posts is the most common thing, these can be straightened. Old and cracked flexible conduit should also be replaced, or repaired if possible. Open up the timeclock and breaker box, is the breaker panel loose and is the timeclock missing the plastic protective wire cover? How about the electrical outlet or any light switches, does everything look tight and safe? If the standing area in front of the electrical boxes is wet and muddy, consider dropping 50 lbs of gravel or placing large pavers over gravel. In the pool, be sure that the pool lights fit snugly into the niche, and aren’t a little off-kilter or loose.
5. Cleaning the Deck
When staging a pool, the pool deck appearance is very important! Pressure washing the deck, followed by a liquid chlorine or bleach solution, is a good way to clean a pool deck with some mildew problems. To add a deep sheen to pool decks and cover up shading inconsistencies, consider having us Color seal your deck after cleaning. As you clean the deck, take note of any cracks or spalling areas, or problem drainage areas. Unless you can hide the corner where the water tends to ‘pool’ into a puddle – you may be able to correct it by having your deck resurfaced with Acrylic spray or Pavers. Pavers being the most effective solution to this problem. Drainage channels via a deco drain can be added, or if soils have slipped and built up in the area, they can be removed. Sometimes it’s a clogged drain or a slipped concrete pad, but there’s almost always an easy solution to deck drainage problems and the resultant mildew growth.
6. Cleaning/Re-surfacing the Pool
Pool maintenance is a major concern for home buyers, so it goes without saying that you want your pool to be as spotless as possible while the home is on the market. But in addition to leaf and bug removal, you also want the surface to look as spot-less as possible too. Check closely for stains in the pool that can be removed with a stain sock or a stain master tool. Plaster pools can be acid washed to strip away a thin layer of plaster and expose un-stained surfaces beneath. How’s the tile and coping look? Most pool coping stones can also be acid washed lightly or bleached to clean. Tiles with calcium deposits, aka efflorescence, can be cleaned with a ‘Magic Eraser’ and some elbow grease. Finally, look outside of the pool to the ladders, diving board, fence, furniture – and get started cleaning and polishing! When it comes down to it the best way to freshen up your pool for the re-sale of your home is to have it re-surfaced. Here at Advanced Pool & Spa we order Marquis Quartz and Stonescape Mini Pebble by the truckload and are able to re-surface your pool with minimal charge to you! With 30+ years in the business we are able to provide the best new surface to your pool and will bring in the best ROI out of everything else listed. We are able to seal any cracks and repair most leaks via the resurface as well as re-tile and replace coping to have your pool as up to date as possible.