One of the services that I offer to my clients is to have my amazing, professional design team assess their home’s overall appeal. This includes an assessment of the overall presentation of my client’s home including, layout, colours, lighting, focus pieces in a room, smell, functionality, condition, flooring, etc. By completing a full assessment, my clients are able to truly view their home with the eyes of a potential buyer and they are able to utilize the insight gained by the design team, to capitalize on the opportunity of getting their home into the best possible condition. Best possible condition however, comes with a caveat,…it will depend entirely upon my client’s current budget and timeline.

I’ve had clients who within a few days prior to putting their home on the market, rip up their old flooring and install new flooring; or install new appliances, new kitchens/bathrooms… but what if you have a limited budget to work with and yet you still want your home to shine brightly? The following is my go to game plan when my clients have less than $500 to spend on primping & preparing their home for sale:


1. Complete AS MANY of the free to do items in my designers’ consultation binder, upon assessing your home.

2. Complete a purging of your home!! By this I mean purge everything and keep only what is necessary and what will enhance the great features of your home. Everything else needs to go into storage and I don’t mean into your garage (if you have one). Rent a storage locker if necessary, have a garage sale, give items to family to have or hold on to, donate to charity, etc…Do what you need to do, to scale back. Purging, immediately offers 4 benefits:

  1. Decluttering tends to streamline and better show off the size and features of your home
  2. By purging all unnecessary items, you will also likely depersonalize your home, which helps potential buyers picture themselves living in it.
  3. You’ll likely find hidden dust bunnies!!! Clutter attracts dust, allergens, dirt, and holds onto cooking odors, etc…
  4. You’re planning on moving anyhow right? Well, start the packing process now and get some of it done ahead of time
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    This will help you deal with some of the early emotions of selling and get your mindset in the right direction.

3. Thoroughly deep clean ALL flooring. Get down on your hands and knees and scrub your floors! Don’t just use a mop. Hands and knees scrubbing actually picks up far more than mopping. when you’ve finished scrubbing, use an appropriate shine agent to make your floors sparkle now that they have all dirt removed from them. For carpeted areas, use a spot treatment to remove any stains and then rent a carpet steam cleaner to clean your carpets. You may think your carpets look clean, but when you see the colour of the water after you’ve cleaned an area with the machine, you’ll wonder how you ever survived in such filth.

4. Wash ALL: Walls, Doors, Cupboards (fronts & insides), bannisters, baseboards, door casings, trim, treat granite such that it shines, appliances (inside & out).

5. Scrub & Shine all aspects of the bathroom: Toilet, shower, tub, all tile & grout, mirrors, faucets & sinks, counter tops, cupboards & drawers (inside & out)

6. Organize all cupboards, closets & drawers (when buyers look here, they will notice how organized you are and will likely assume you’ve cared very well for the home, thus created a heightened sense of value)

7. Create defined spaces, strategically place furniture to best emphasize room features (as opposed to your preference for comfort) and let each room/space have a theme. Whether a room has a colour theme, an entertaining theme, a peaceful theme, a workout theme, etc…ensure the theme is clear and well displayed.

8. Patch and repaint any wall areas that appear worn.

9. Ensure all light fixtures have working lightbulbs.

10. Replace any discoloured/ broken floor registers, electrical plates and light switch plates.

11. Organize your garage/storage locker.

12. Ensure all leaks, cracks, issues are repaired otherwise this will negatively impact your resale value.

13. Curb Appeal is everything…at first! Clean your yard!! Mow the grass, plant more grass, weed garden/grass, rake leaves, trim hedges, organize your garden, prune plants, plant flowers, replace burnt out lights or update exterior light fixtures, power-wash: sidewalks, decks, exteriors, in fact, your goal is to make your clean and organized exterior the envy of the neighbourhood. Add a few appropriate decorative items to your exterior entry and voila!

14. Add appropriate art work throughout your home and other minimal decorative touches to complete a theme in a room (thrift stores, craigslist and garage sales are often great cheap sources for odds & ends).

15. Place fresh, colour appropriate cloths & towels in the bathroom(s) and kitchen.

There you have it! My DIY list to get your home in the best possible condition for selling, on a limited budget!

I wish you every success in the selling of your home,

Melissa M Kubek