Fireplaces Provide a Warm Glow to a Home on the Market

With winter weather gripping most of the country the fireplace takes on greater importance in the sale of a home.

The National Association of REALTORS® recently conducted a survey that found nearly two-thirds of homebuyers had a fireplace on their wish list. The fireplace has become a coveted amenity and homes boasting this feature see its benefits during resale.

Fireplace“The fireplace is a focal point when people come to see your home,” said Hillary Staats, an interior designer for Sanctuary on Church in Vienna, Va.

That’s why it’s important to make sure that the look of your fireplace has been updated and is working properly. An older looking fireplace that seems an eye-sore can be easily updated.

“There is a lot you can do to enhance the fireplace before a sale. A lot of times, if it has older brick, I will re-stone a fireplace. Other times it could be as simple as changing mantels, adding a fancier screen or placing a beautiful piece of art above it.”

Transformation materials that are inexpensive and easy to work with are tile, manufactured stone, granite, marble and wood. Sometimes even painting over old, ugly brick will make a huge improvement.

“A masonry fireplace can really set a home apart from the rest and significantly improve resale value,” said Larry Kett, owner of Kett’s Hearth and Home in Grand Rapids, Mich. “Adding a mantel also helps. An engaging fireplace and mantel can provide grandeur for an otherwise ho-hum room.”

Keeping the mantel clean and uncluttered is also a must. “You want the fireplace to look inviting but not cluttered, so keep the mantel clear of all photos and knickknacks,” Staats said. “It’s fine to decorate with accessories, but they shouldn’t distract from the fireplace itself.”

If you want to add a fireplace to improve your home’s resale value, consider an electric fireplace as it’s often the least expensive option and reasonably easy to install.

Gas fireplaces are more common today and easy to use, plus they can be installed just about anywhere. There is no need for a chimney, wood or even matches with this type of fireplace and there is no mess to clean up either. Ceramic log kits are efficient and look like the real deal, without ashes to clean up.

Finally, regardless of the season, a fireplace should be kept clean and in working order. “You want your buyer to go home feeling really great about that room and knowing they can move in and sit in front of that wonderful fireplace and hearth,” Staats said. “There are few things as warm and inviting as a burning fire on a wintry day.”

Patric Santo Pietro can be reached at (732) 570-5442. Prudential New Jersey Properties is an independently owned and operated member of BRER Affiliates Inc. Used under license with no other affiliation with Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity.