Sell Your Home for More Money

Sell Your Home for More Money
This homeowner got multiple offers, a contract in under two weeks, and put an extra $10,000 in the bank with some easy improvements.





Grandma Milly's Story
Grandma Milly is a smart, independent, feisty 84-year-old. She's also mostly blind from macular degeneration and has a ruined back from many years working as a hospital RN. For eighteen years she was able to live independently in her townhome, but after several falls, it was time to move to assisted living.

Milly was going to need all the money she could get.

Based on similar homes in the area, a realtor estimated the value of her home in its current condition at $50,000 - $55,000. It was in good repair, but everything was worn and dated.

The Challenge
How to get Milly the most money for her home and sell it quickly to save on HOA fees and utilities? We had to make buyers fall in love with it and spend as little money as possible. That meant lots of paint, new carpeting, a few inexpensive decorator upgrades, and some very minimal staging.

What We Did
We addressed the five most critical areas:

  • Outdated Woodwork
    It would have been too expensive to replace cabinets, doors and moldings, so we painted all the wood a soft pretty white (Sherwin Williams Snowbound SW 7004). The stair rails looked too "chocolatey," so we stained them a darker brown.

  • Outdated Wallpaper, Brick Accent Wall, and White Walls
    Just plain ugly. We used two shades of greige (Popular Gray SW 6071 and Perfect Greige SW 6073).

  • Old Medicine Cabinet and Light Fixtures
    Pulled out the medicine cabinet and replaced it with a pretty framed mirror. Found some inexpensive light fixtures and swapped out the old ones.

  • Damaged Linoleum in the Bathroom
    Replaced it with new, inexpensive ceramic tile that coordinated with the rest of the new wall and carpet colors.

  • Dirty and Mis-matched Carpet
    Replaced it with an inexpensive frieze. Upgraded the new pad for a plusher feel.

What We Didn't Do
You have to know when to stop. It would have been nice to replace the:
  • Cabinet hardware
  • Yellow linoleum floor in the kitchen
  • Appliances
  • Ceramic tile kitchen counters
  • Bathtub tile

But that would have left Milly with less money from the sale, and Milly's money was the priority. So we made them look good instead.

Kitchen Before



Kitchen After


***Staging Secret***

Yellow and gray is a popular decorator combo right now. Since most people wouldn't choose to have a yellow linoleum floor and a yellow exhaust hood over the stove, we had to make it look deliberate. So we added even more yellow:

  • A large picture of sunflowers in a blue vase on the far wall set the color scheme
  • Echo that with a pretty blue jug of yellow crocus
  • Echo that with cobalt blue glasses on the opposite counter
  • Carry a little yellow into the adjoining dining room with some dramatic art
  • Finish with a touch of black



The Outcome?

The realtor thought it looked so good, she raised the listing price to $69,900. And buyers loved it! Milly had several offers and accepted a contract in under two weeks while similar units in the area are still on the market. Milly spent $5,000 on paint, new carpet, bathroom floor tile, a new bathroom mirror, a few light fixtures and a handy man to do the work. She got $15,000 more for her home because of the improvements. That's a profit of $10,000.

If you're selling your home, tasteful touches are worth money. Check with a good realtor to determine the value of your property and what kinds of improvements will raise your listing price.

Milly's Bathroom

At first glance, we wanted to gut the bathroom. But Milly couldn't afford that and it was in pretty good condition, just terribly out-dated. So we painted instead. We got a "Pottery Barn" look with just two cans of paint, a new mirror, and some inexpensive floor tile. Inexpensive Bathroom Update

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