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Decorating & Furniture/bathroom fixtures/ paint colors



We are putting our home on the market spring 2009, and beginning attack little projects to whip it into shape. We always knew this was a temporary home, therefore we haven't put much into it over the past 5 years (it is 10 years old). Most of our budget for this is going to landscaping and new carpeting. I have 2 main questions:
1) The bathrooms have cheap brass plated fixtures. The brass is in bad shape (discolored, worn down,flaked off). I am fine replacing the sink faucets, but the tub and shower fixtures and especially the trim on the shower door are a different matter (ie more complicated and expensive). Needless to say, we do not want to spend a lot on replacements. Is there anything we can do to spiff them up?
2) I have painted a few rooms in bold, bright, or dark colors. I have heard that this is horrible for selling purposes. I would like to start painting now, and I figured on doing the whole house in one or two warm shades of light tan or cream. I have three boys and figure this way it will be easier to retouch any damage they do. Part of me wants to leave the house as is and offer a painting credit. What do you advise: paint now, all neutral? Leave my reds and camels and browns and tangerine and offer a credit?

Thanks for your time,

Hi Meredith,
Regarding question #1, perhaps a plumber would be best to answer that question.  I don't believe there is anything you can do except maybe some brass polish.  

Regarding question #2, Painting the rooms to a light tan or shades of tan would be best.  I don't recommend leaving the house painted with the bold, bright or dark colors although I prefer that myself over tan, the potenital homeowners need to see the room in a more neutral shade.

I think it's great that you are already getting a jump on the sprucing up, and preparing your home for sale.  Too often these kinds of things are a last minute item, and sometimes don't get done.
Good luck with your home sale in 2009.  
Thanks for writing,

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