Selling your home can represent either an exciting or frustrating time in your life, depending on how you prepare and how you approach potential home buyers and agents. When you put your house on the market, you know it's important to present the best picture you can create, and that means taking care of any leaks, structural problems, and fixtures so new owners won't think they're buying a money pit. Before you decide to sell, and before you call a Realtor, definitely call a plumber.

Simple home improvement jobs can greatly increase the chance of bids as you hold open houses. Most owners will apply a fresh coat of paint to the walls or have the carpets professionally steamed, but when you think about it, potential buyers will want to know how well the plumbing works, and they'll want to see the fixtures. If your bathrooms and kitchen have faucets that are difficult to keep shiny, and if the toilets don't flush or fill as well as they used to, you should definitely consider a few makeovers.

This doesn't mean, of course, you must spend thousands on renovation. For a few hundred dollars, you can have a professional, bonded plumber inspect your pipes for leaks, install a new water heater or toilet, or repair any clogs that will turn off visitors when they test the plumbing. Don't think anyway will try a faucet or two during a walk-through? If somebody is serious about buying your house, they will look, and if what they see pools up over the shower drain or regurgitates in the toilet, they're moving to the next place.

Add a plumber to your list of to-dos when you prepare to move and sell. You'll find the investment is well worth it when the sale papers on your home are finalized.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach plumbing .

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