Shillam Homes


Little to no cost ideas when you’re getting ready to sell. Set yourself up for the most success!

1. Declutter
Read through several any articles and you’ll begin to see a trend. One of the most widely stated suggestions is to declutter your home. One of the major ways to clutter a room, too much furniture. Professional stagers often will take nearly half the furniture away from a home. Here are some ways to have an immediate impact.

  • Pre-pack. After all, you’re selling to move so get a start and pack what you don’t need. Go to Home Depot and pick up a whole stack of small boxes and pack the stack. Put the stack of boxes in the garage or storage shed. Those places people don’t expect to be “picture perfect.”
  • Take down your personal family photos. If you’re afraid you’ll have nothing on your walls after putting up some artwork. Better yet hang a few mirrors. These make a room feel larger and help to reflect lighting back into the room.
  • While you’re in the process of pre-packing, removing personal photos, and taking out unnecessary furniture remember we want this to no longer feel like your home. Our goal is to make it feel like anyone’s home.

2. Lighting
This really is more of preparing for your showings. You’re going to be doing some work prior to the photos, prior to your agent putting the for sale sign out. Make sure all your light switches work, all the bulbs work as well. Nothing distracts someone even if at a subconscious level if they walk into a room and see half the bulbs burned out. While you’re at it, change them to LED. Why? Because when your house is listed at any time someone may and very well want to see it. Turn on those lights! Leave them on especially when you leave the house. Turning lights on throughout the house invites people to look through the entire home. A lit room always feels bigger, warmer and cleaner than a dark one.

3. Paint
When you moved in you probably went to the paint store and enjoyed picking out that special color. The accent wall you always wanted in the dining room or master bedroom. That was for you, it wasn’t for your buyer. So time to make a huge impact. Go to your local professional paint store and ask the employees, what’s the newest neutral color pros are using? They know because hundreds of gallons of the latest are being sold. And while you’re there they know the good local professionals you can call on to knock out that paint job!

4. Make Your Yard Work
Over the years you have very carefully planned what things to put in your yard. Why not go and create cuttings bring them indoors. Put your cuttings on your dining room table. They don’t all have to be flowers either, a few choice evergreens can also bring color and a reflection of all that hard work into the home.

5. Time to finish
Unfinished projects cost you more than the money to finish them. A great example of this was when I was doing an open house recently. A couple came through the house and saw it needed new interior paint and carpet. Their remark to me was that was going to cost at least $20,000 so they left quickly. I could have brought in a professional had the home painted top to bottom and had new carpet installed for less than $6,000. If you don’t have the time this would be a great opportunity to pull from your Realtors vast network of professionals and hire one of his or her recommendations. A Realtor is one of the greatest assets you have, use that asset to the fullest. Consulting with them can help you achieve the highest and best results of your sale.

6. Make your bathroom feel much larger for under $500!
A pedestal sink always makes that undersized bathroom feel larger. Take that small vanity away and replace it with a pedestal. Visually they allow more square footage of a floor to be seen which makes the room feel larger.

7. Kitchen Cabinets Out-Dated?
While you have a professional painter in the home, make sure to have them paint your old — outdated cabinets in place. This will make your kitchen look nearly new again. In one day you can have color neutral cabinets! Purchase new hardware and for a small investment, you have renewed your kitchen.
Be careful when heading to the kitchen. This is where very large sums of money can be spent. Also, keep in mind any improvement made in your kitchen may have a lower return on investment than what you spent.
I typically tell my clients, better to have a clean home with fresh paint and floors than the kitchen all decked out. Not only did it take months for that kitchen remodel but you won’t get the money you spent on your kitchen back out.

8. Outside
What is the first impression of the exterior of the home? What is the first impression of the exterior of the home. Paint can change that look nearly over night, well a few days. This is where pulling from the experts can really pay off. Ask for help in selecting paint colors. Remember this is no longer your home. You’re painting it for your buyers.

  • Your front door should be clean and always well lit.
  • Time to purchase a new front door mat.
  • Fresh plantings in the flower bed next to the door. (Do not over do it)
  • Make sure your walk way and drive way is clean, free of moss and build up. Take it one step further, seal it giving it a fresh look.
  • Decks can be a thing of beauty, but they can also deter someone from even walking into your home. Just like your walk way make sure your deck is clean, free of moss and any build up. If your deck boards look like they are on the way out, evaluate if just a light sanding and fresh stain will do it or if you need to replace. Don’t let a few deck boards keep your buyer from seeing the inside of the home.

9. Sun
We live in the Pacific Northwest and for most of the year, it’s overcast. Pull those drapes back, raise those blinds and let as much natural light into the house. One might even suggest in the living areas to take down the blinds and put them in the garage. This leads to an unobstructed view of the surrounding yard. Get feedback from

10. Difficult Rooms or Spaces?
Stage rooms with one purpose so buyers will know what it is. This is another area when getting a professional involved will pay off. Maybe there are some areas of your home that could be or have been different things. Assume your potential buyer has no insight as to how this room could be used. Help them understand how it could be used. I once had a listing that had a small area next to a stair landing, like it was wasted space. One small table and board game and now it became a gaming area. No longer wasted space in the home.

11. Storage Space Galore
Closets are for storage! When people walk through your home they will peek into the closets. If they can’t see inside the closest they have no concept of the storage potential.
Use your packing strategies discussed earlier in your closets as well. Set a goal to pack 50% of whats in each closet within your home. Trust me you won’t need it between now and the time you’ll be moving into your new home. If you follow these basic steps your home will look its best and someone will want to make your house their home!

12. Only Perfect Accents
Throughout the home, accents should be in perfect, unused condition. If it’s left out for visitors to see or potentially use while touring it should be unblemished. Especially in your bathrooms! All towels should be hung, without any stains, snags, looking fresh. If you hang a bathrobe up for use that too should be in perfect condition. Bars of soap should be replaced and unused. Garbage should never be overflowing, make it your morning chore to empty. If you can, make space for garbage under the sink or purchase a trash can with a lid. No one wants or needs to see your garbage.

13. Unpleasant smells
Pets, smoking, cooking spices these all turn off potential buyers very quickly. If you have pets in the home make sure their beds are clean. If it’s a cat in the house, time to make cleaning the litter box a daily routine. Less than 20% of your potential buyers smoke. If you have been smoking in the home, time to take it outside. Have your carpets professionally cleaned, if this doesn’t resolve the smoke smell, time to think about replacement. Remember, we don’t want to eliminate such a large pool of buyers by not addressing the smoke smell in the house.

For the same reason why everyone loves a new car. It drives the best, it smells the best, it is free from any blemishes of previous use. This is why you want your home to be the best it can be. Time to break out your gloves and supplies. Clean, clean, clean and when you think your done start again. Trust me you didn’t get it all! This is when hiring a professional may pay off. They see the things often times we no longer do. The fan you so enjoy above you at night, they’ll clean the blades. The back of the toilet, they’ll get there to. Window tracks too. The list goes on, every surface should sparkle. This is probably the most important of all the steps in preparing your home for the market. Don’t over look it!