Tips for Maximizing Sale Price (or Simply Tarting Up)

If you close your eyes and imagine walking through a model home, you’re probably envisioning a whistle clean, attractively furnished and thoughtfully accessorized house. Now look around your own home. Hopefully, it is pleasantly tidy yet thoroughly loved and lived in. Perhaps it is packed to the gills and could use some Ajax. Whatever the condition, there is likely room for improvement! Every homeowner wants to impress buyers, garner the best offers and reap top dollar from their sale but most don’t necessarily want to hire an expensive staging company, rent furniture and evacuate their belongings. You can achieve much of that staged and perfect look, while still living comfortably “on set.” Here are a few tips that anyone can employ.


Unless you are a pro at spartan living this is one of the most important steps. Besides creating the illusion of more square footage, “clearing the decks” (including the closets, pantry & garage) creates more highly desirable storage space. If your stuff is piled up in corners or spilling out of closet doors it signals to the buyer that there is not ample storage in the home.

I highly suggest employing the KonMari method. Spend an evening binge-watching Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up on Netflix and get to it! Summarily, her method spells out the following:

Organize your belongings by category – 1.) Clothes 2.) Books* 3.) Papers 4.) Komono (miscellaneous stuff) 5.) Sentimental**

Remove all items that don’t “Spark Joy.” First, remember to thank them for their service, literally say, “Goodbye,” and donate them (or trash).

Quick KonMari guide here-

*I don’t necessarily agree with the mass purging of “Books” and I personally horde many in the attic a.) because I love them and b.) they’re great on bookshelves (!) and table-top vignettes.

**“Sentimental” may overwhelm you if you’re already in an emotional state about selling a home, so perhaps save this step and store these items until after the move.


Consider storing all religious relics, personal photographs, kid’s artwork and bric a brac. People want to picture themselves in your home and your stuff is a distraction (in addition to making your home seem smaller). Once you have reduced the overall volume of items, your home will appear more airy and more spacious. The focus will return to the great flow and away from the personal possessions inside the home.


Now for the most obvious piece of advice – clean clean clean!!! Spend a weekend deep cleaning (or better yet hire professional cleaners to do it in a matter of hours) and clean every square inch of your home, including the windows, the garage, and the inside of the cabinets (people will open them).


Re-paint your home if necessary. There’s more mass appeal in a pleasant neutral color throughout then a specific room by room color scheme.

Check out these winners!

Benjamin Moore- Balboa Mist, Gray Wisp, Revere Pewter

Behr- Vintage Linen, Perfect Taupe, Seagull Grey, Shoreline

Sherwin Williams- Eider White, Agreeable Grey & Alabaster

Always paint a swatch on your walls!  The internet photo, paint chip and wall sample often look vastly different in your space’s unique light.


DIY or HIRE- oil the door and window hinges, fix loose handles and knobs, re-grout the tub, remove that dated wallpaper border, consider replacing old fashioned looking light fixtures or extremely old faucets.


Consider replacing extremely worn carpeting. Often buyers prefer to choose their own new flooring, so you can potentially save here by starting with a deep clean and seeing if that doesn’t alleviate the eyesore.


Welcome to your house! Make sure all the plants are alive and thriving, cut the grass, pull the weeds! Shine (and repaint if necessary) the front door then crown it with a wreath! Place a fragrant bouquet in the entryway to set a lovely tone.

Pamela Day Designs - Interior Designer - Foyer


Well placed accessories can work magic. A few smartly arranged vignettes might help sell your home!


Lighting is inviting! Darkened rooms not so much.


BAD SMELLS- Do your absolute best to reduce odors. Our strongest sense tied to memory is smell, so make sure when people walk through the door they are not assaulted by the unpleasant odor of pets, smoking or cooking. Never cook curry, garlic or onions the night before showing your home. Think about taking Fido out for a walk during showings.

GOOD SMELLS– Realtors are always enticing buyers with warmly baked cookies fresh from the oven because it conjures a nostalgia for home. Some other universally good smells include lime, cinnamon, orange, peppermint, and of course- nothing!

FLOWERS– Add them! Super easy and so important. Don’t go crazy arrangement-wise, but don’t be shy with placement!

FENG SHUI– Put away the knife block (it’s bad Feng Shui) and hide the Kleenex box (because no one wants to see it).

CLEAN AGAIN!- Keep it up through the whole process.

These few ideas alone can magically transform a home for a quick and profitable sale.

Need more help? Hire an interior “re”designer by the hour. We can make suggestions for furniture placement to maximize flow and impact, and help you create a cohesive design statement using only your existing furniture and accessories. Table top vignettes are my specialty!

School’s out!

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I thought it’d be easy- pillow fluffing, paint selection, placing furnishings so they look right- what could possibly go wrong?  A lot!!  It’s not fricking easy.  It involves much more than I ever, EVER imagined.

I endeavored on my second act as an interior designer just 5-1/2 short years, 1 husband and two kids ago (that certainly didn’t ease things).  I thought, “Well, I’m coming out of a career that people don’t understand even after I explain to them what I do (like Chandler from “Friends,”) and going into interior design, school is going to be SO fun!”  Not so.  It was grueling!  I can honestly state it was far more intense than completing my Bachelor of Science in Business, and my Master of Science in Business (completed while working full-time in aforementioned intense job).

Here are some photos of the fruits of my labor.  Boards, that you may glance at for 3 seconds that took 30 hours or more to complete.

They did teach us everything though, and that was the idea now, wasn’t it?


ID5 ID 4 board