By People Staff
September 11, 1989 12:00 PM


Nobody wants to buy a home that has “housatosis,” so don’t be whipping up a fish feast before showing your digs to potential buyers. Try simmering cinnamon sticks instead. That is but one of the helpful, though sometimes obvious, hints on how to merchandise your home in this 45-minute production from Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Hosts David Richards and Liz Turner take viewers on a tour of two houses, pointing out potential blemishes (scruffy lawns, shabby doormats, cluttered closets) that can smudge the value of your property. Other segments deal with pet odors, unflattering foyers and furniture placements that create the illusion of space.

Do-it-yourselfers learn to repair wall cracks, crumbling grout and squeaky floorboards, and hear more than enough chitchat about cleansers and disinfectants. Remember to take special care with bathrooms and kitchens—they can clinch a sale. Refrigerator fronts should be free of kiddie art. And another thing: Board Bowser with friends. Animals can discourage house hunters because of damage they may have done to a home and might do to strangers. Follow these tips and your dwelling may be so dazzling you won’t want to move. (Meredith, $19.95; 800-678-2699)


Here’s a tape to help buyers deal with sellers who have seen Preparing Your House to Sell. It may dash your This Old House dreams. Les Cizek, host of cable TV’s Do-It-Yourself series, is just the folksy Sherlock Holmes to aid unseasoned buyers in search of a home sweet home. Starting in the driveway of a 60-year-old frame bungalow, Cizek rounds up not just the usual suspects—mossy foundations, blistered walls, warping and water stains—but an array of other hazards. How noisy is the neighborhood? How much traffic will be flowing along that footpath by the bedroom window? Is crime a problem?

He also points out faults that will add costs to your purchase price: Rotting window sills can be a pane to replace, for example. Nary a crawl space escapes Cisek’s scrutiny as he reels off dozens of potential disasters in a brisk 30 minutes. After one viewing of this tape, a shiny, new mobile home will start to look good. Inspecting a House Before You Buy is one of 18 hands-on videos in Cizek’s impressive series. (D.I.Y. Inc., P.O. Box 36565, Charlotte, N.C. 28236; 704-342-9608)


If you’re the kind of housekeeper whose sink usually contains more cookware than the cupboards do, you may be beyond the help of this tape. If, however, you could be spared some heartache by little fold-out cookbook shelves under the kitchen wall cabinets, lazy-Susan devices and back-of-the-door shelving, you’re in luck.