From “Blah” To “Wow”! (Part 2)

Last week was about how to get your kitchen ready before the open house; this week, we will talk about the second most important room in your house: the bathroom.

This is a list of some tips you will need:

• Carpets, mats and toilet seat need to go. They simply don’t look clean and they are sometimes responsible for bad smells.

• “Let the sunshine in”. If there is a window in your bathroom, you need to pull up the blinds or shades and if you have any privacy issue, you might want to frost the glass with a film or with a can of paint.

• Tile and grout MUST be spotless; so clean, clean and clean again! If the grout is old, it might be discolored in some places. No need to worry, I have a quick fix for that! Go to your hardware store and ask for a “grout pen”, this thing is magic! But remember, it’s just for touch ups; if you need to re-grout everything, do it. It will pay off in the end.

Buyers are looking for a spa-like bathroom, the kind of bathroom where they will be able to relax after a long day at work.

• Accessorizing is the key to a well-staged bathroom:

  1. Buy a couple of fresh fluffy bath and hand towels.
  2. A candle or two displayed on the shelves, tub or vanity will create a relaxing atmosphere.
  3. You need a clean shower curtain, but try not to get anything too overwhelming for the space. A nice neutral with a simple pattern will do the job.

• Also, clear out the clutter; it will distract buyers. Again, less is more in this case; especially in one of the smallest spaces in the house.

And for the last touch, add freshly-cut, colorful flowers in a simple glass vase and Voilà, your bathroom is ready to impress potential buyers!

Staging tips of the week:
If you have a mirror without a frame in your bathroom, don’t replace it. Just work with it. Did you know that you could buy molding at the hardware store and ask them to cut it to size? Then, apply some heavy duty glue and you got yourself a custom-framed mirror for a fraction of the cost!

Good luck!
Virginie Gill, Certified Staging Expert
Owner of Voila Design

For a Realtor near you.
Tulsa Realtors
Broken Arrow Realtors
Bixby Realtors
Owasso Realtors
Skiatook Realtors

From “Blah” To “Wow”!

There are 2 rooms in which we know that investing your money won’t be a waste. These 2 rooms are the bathroom and the kitchen, and here are a few tips to bring the “wow” factor in. This week, we will focus on the kitchen.

Make sure everything works well: cabinet doors, pulls and knobs, no leaking faucets.
New hardware for the cabinets is not very costly and it makes a huge impact. Preferably, everything should match in your kitchen (all glass, all stainless steel, all chrome or all oil rubbed brass).

Appliances need to be spotless.

Countertops are one of the most expansive upgrades for your kitchen, but for those of us on a budget, here is a simple fix. If you have laminate countertops, you can freshen it up with paint. Go to your local hardware store and ask for laminate countertops paint.

If you have butcher block countertops, oil them. A small can of oil or wax will do the trick.

If you have a bar, you need to emphasize it. It needs to be defined as an eating area, so stage it with a couple of bar stools and a few accessories. Every counter space counts and it is a great selling feature. If there is a breakfast nook in your kitchen, stage it with a small table and 2 or 4 chairs (depending on the size of the nook). Don’t forget to set the table to create a welcoming atmosphere so buyers can picture themselves living in your house.

It is very important that you de-clutter the countertops; you MUST show off the space. There is no better example of less is more. Pick ONE (yes just one!) small electric appliance (it should be the one you can’t live without and it should look clean): this one can stay! The rest MUST go. Then, use your imagination: wooden or stainless steel bowls with apples or lemons, fresh flowers, a kettle on the stove and you’re good to go.

But no, wait! Remember to bake cookies or a pie before you start your open house. There is nothing better than the smell of baked sweets to attract potential buyers!

There are many more things you can do to stage your kitchen but these solutions should help you get a better idea of what a staged kitchen should look like.

Staging tip of the week:
To clean stainless steel appliances, use a smooth cloth with a few drops of olive oil. Wipe gently and Voilà!

Good luck!
Virginie Gill, Certified Staging Expert
Owner of Voila Design

For a Realtor near you.
Tulsa Realtors
Broken Arrow Realtors
Bixby Realtors
Owasso Realtors
Skiatook Realtors


Staging: How To Make A Small Room Feel Bigger

We are all well aware that today’s buyers are looking for spacious Tulsa homes with big and airy rooms. So, what can you do to make your small rooms feel bigger?

Here are a few tips:

  • Wall color is crucial. Choose a light color, such as beige, cream, taupe or light green. After all, staging doesn’t have to mean boring!
    Also, by painting the farthest wall from the entry way one or two shades darker, it will become an accent wall and your room will appear bigger and deeper. It will naturally attract the buyers’ eyes. (This works especially for living rooms).
  • Open the window curtains and roll up the blinds to maximize the natural light.
  • Use mirrors (one or two maximum in the same room) to reflect light, as well as shiny objects like candle holders, vases and other accessories.
  • If you have dark floors like hardwoods, try a big white rug to soften up the feel of the room. It helps define a sitting area for example and opens up an entire space.
  • Use fresh cut flowers, like sunflowers.
  • For bedrooms, choose white bedding so it won’t overpower the entire room.

Each of these solutions should help to make your rooms feel bigger, and in turn, make a great impression!

Staging tip of the week:

When you remove heavy furniture, it usually leaves dents on the carpet.

Easy fix: take an ice cube and let it melt on the dents. Once melted, use a scrubbing brush and…Voilà!!

Good luck!

Virginie Gill, Certified Staging Expert
Owner of Voila Design

Real Estate News

CNN is saying the housing market could get a lot worse because of another wave of foreclosures set to hit the Tulsa real estate market. An avalanche of subprime mortgages are set to hit the market in the next 18 to 24 months.

As these mortgages reset to a higher interest rate along with higher unemployment, it is likely to cause a surge in mortgages going to default. Currently in the U.S., one in ten homes is either in foreclosure or behind in payments. The new numbers could be even more staggering.

Economists warn this could cause housing prices to decline up to 20% more before the market rebounds. Currently losses from the housing bust totaled $3.6 trillion at the end of 2008. Lawrence Yun the chief economist with the National Association of Realtors® estimates losses will likely approach $5 trillion by the time the crisis ends.

If you are facing a financial hardship with either decreased income, higher expenses or job loss, call me. Foreclosuredoesn’t have to be your only option. I recently became a Certified Distressed Property Expert, or CDPE, and can help you or anyone you know avoid foreclosure by using a short sale. We can negotiate with the lender to take a reduced payment, pay our commissions, and avoid the damage of a foreclosure on your credit score.

I know the Tulsa Real Estate market and job markets are tough out there. Let us help you or your friends if they are struggling.

The First Impression

The first impression is very important when you are selling your Tulsa home. When I hear “first impression”, I think “curb appeal”. An attractive curb appeal is critical if you want to sell fast.

If your house doesn’t look good from the outside, chances are that Tulsa buyers won’t even stop to visit it. In order to show how beautiful the inside is, your Tulsa home needs to catch the potential buyers’ eyes right away. A few little changes go a long way.

Below are a few solutions you can adopt:

  • Clean up; rake leaves and kill weeds. Trash cans and cars should be out of sight because you want people to focus on your house and nothing else.
  • Add color to spice up the front of the house. Simple but colorful flowers, foliage and fresh mulch are all you need to make potential buyers feel welcome.

The impression the front door area makes is crucial. Tulsa buyers have plenty of time to look around and notice the flaws while waiting for the agent to unlock the door. Therefore you should:

  • Replace the house numbers (if needed) or spray paint them black.
  • Replace mailbox if dated or spray paint it black to freshen it up.
  • Make sure your doorbell works.
  • Add a welcome door mat.

Last but not least, don’t forget to clean up the windows to maximize natural light.

All this should help you make an amazing first impression. Your curb appeal will show nicely, your Tulsa home will look well maintained and buyers will be eager to discover the inside.

Staging tip of the week:

To clean your windows inside and out, you need a window cleaner along with a squeegee. Use a vertical motion on one side and a horizontal motion on the other. That way, you will know what side streaks are on for follow-up cleaning.

Good luck!
Virginie Gill, Certified Staging Expert
Owner of Voila Design

2009 Greater Tulsa Association Parade Of Homes

Accent’s featured listing – 13870 S. Hudson Ave. in Bixby

Click Here To Learn More About This Home!

Presented by the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa, and sponsored by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.


When: Saturday, June 20 – Sunday, June 28
Homes open 1 to 7 p.m. daily

The Parade includes 150 homes in Bartlesville, Bixby HomesBroken Arrow Homes, Claremore, Collinsville, Coweta, Glenpool, Jenks, Kiefer, Owasso Homes, Pryor, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook Homes and Tulsa Homes.  A complete guide of Tulsa area homes will be available in the Friday, June 19 at participating QuikTrip locations.

Highlights of the Parade of Homes –

– Free advice from homebuilders and Tulsa real estate professionals on achieving the dream of owning or building a new home.

– A wide range of home styles, prices and locations.

– The latest materials and technology in today’s new homes.

– Ideas on floor plans to fit your family and lifestyle.

Homes will be open daily from 1 to 7 p.m. Admission is free.

For more information call 665-8559.

Tulsa Homes
Broken Arrow Homes
Bixby Homes
Owasso Homes
Skiatook Homes

Foreclosure Vs. Short Sale

In today’s uncertain economy, we are seeing more and more distressed property owners. At least 10% of all homes across the country are either in foreclosure or in pre-foreclosure (behind in payments) per the Certified Distressed Property Institute. This drastic change in our economy and banking system is creating a very interesting Tulsa real estate market.  Most Tulsa home owners in this situation don’t know what options they have and believe they will either have to file bankruptcy or get foreclosed on, and lose their Tulsa home.

There is a third option though and is it called a short sale. The short sale is a tool to sell the property for the Tulsa home owner that might be experiencing a period of financial instability, be behind on payments and owes too much on the property to sell for a profit in today’s market. If you or someone you know is in this situation, the first thing to do is to find an educated Tulsa realtor that is a certified distressed property expert. They will be able get your Tulsa home orBroken Arrow home listed, and package all the appropriate forms needed by the lender to stop the foreclosure process and work on getting the lender to accept a contract on the Tulsa home that is even less than what is owed. If the Tulsa home or Broken Arrow home is sold for less than what is owed, the goal is to get the bank to wave the difference owed with the seller owing no money at closing and have a settled account, not a foreclosure on the sellers credit record.

If you know of anyone in this situation, please have them call me. I am a Certified Distressed Property Expert and handle situations like this daily and keep many of our clients out of foreclosure.

Warmest Wishes!

Paul Wheeler
Owner/ Broker
The Paul Wheeler Team at Accent Realtors
Your Best Friends In Real Estate!
4625 S. Harvard, Suite 100
Tulsa, OK 74135
(O) 918.665-8559 (F) 918.665.2442