The Dirty Secrets of Home Staging

The Dirty Secrets of Home Staging

Home staging is nothing new. Thanks to HGTV and home flipping frenzy, It has simply been rebranded with a new emphasis on home decor and design enhancements. With this overwhelming supply of ideas, many home sellers are overlooking the simplest and the most cost effective ways to stage their homes for sale.

Deep cleaning is an essential part of home staging. A homebuyer will not care about a trendy new paint color or accent rug if the house isn’t deep cleaned. Look at the detail in your home such as windows, ceiling fan blades, light globes, and the yucky crevices around your water faucets, drains, and sink edges.  Not only are these clean details important in your staging, it will be helpful in the second phase of your home sale process. After a home buyer has written a contract to purchase your house and they return for inspections, they will begin to see the details they missed the first time.  You are essentially selling your house twice.  Therefore, it only makes sense to make these items part of the staging process. You don’t want your home buyer to get cold feet, change their mind, and cancel the purchase.

Impress the inspector. This is part of good home staging too.  Clean out your hot water tank and furnace closets. Wipe down your furnace and hot water tank to remove dirt and dead bugs. This will do more than make your appliances look better. It will show you have properly maintained them. You may even discover problems you should correct before a buyer sees them. This is yet another area where you are thinking ahead of the game to get the maximum benefit for both marketing your home and during the escrow process.

Buyers who are more sophisticated will notice these items just as much as the superficial decor and furniture placement.  By starting with the end in mind and working your way backward, you can make sure your home selling plan is solid.

Here are a few things to review to stage your home that are just as important as the fancy rug…

  • ___ Replace any burned out bulbs. Inside and out
  • ___ Clean windows (especially those with attractive views.)
  • ___ Clear out corners that tend to collect junk. These can make rooms seem smaller in photos.
  • ___ Clean Bathroom mirrors. Spots above sinks tend to show in photos.
  • ___ Clear counters in bathrooms and kitchen.
  • ___ Fold hanging towels neatly.
  • ___ Close shower curtains and toilet seats.
  • ___ Make the beds.
  • ___ Pick up kid’s toys and move any excess toys out to storage.
  • ___ Check the fireplace mantle – free of clutter?
  • ___ Arrange furniture neatly. Remove anything unsightly for photos and you can place it back afterward.
  • ___ Clear back porch of debris and arrange furniture.
  • ___ Put away yard tools.
  • ___ Trim trees and bushes.
  • ___ Mow lawn.
  • ___ Mulch flower beds.
  • ___ Open curtains and blinds to let in ample light.

When you are finished, step back and take a look as if you were looking at a magazine.  Would a photograph of your house right now (bathrooms, living room, exterior) look good in a magazine?  If so, you have succeeded!  Turn on the lights and we are ready to go!

For some laughs, take a look at this:

Preparing you for success,


Darryl Baskin is a 30 year veteran in Tulsa real estate and host of KRMG’s Future of Real Estate advising Saturdays at 1pm.  Broker/Associate with eXp Realty and has hosted The Future of Real Estate has can be heard Saturdays at 1pm on, fm 102.3, am 740

Which is the Best Part of Tulsa for You?

Which is the Best Part of Tulsa for a First Time Home Buyer?


“Image courtesy of koratmember /”.

6:32  First-time Home Buyer Loan Tulsa–  Midtown or South Tulsa?

Which Homes are Better- South Tulsa or Mid-Town? For first time home buyers, selecting a home can be a daunting task. There are many new things to learn and on top of everything you must decide whether to purchase a new home or older home and in what area of town you want to live.  For many young professionals, Midtown is the place to be.  It’s especially popular for those wanting to live near Brookside and Cherry Street. The Midtown area is about the lifestyle. It draws people.   There are many locally owned shops and unique stores and restaurants in Midtown arTulsaea.  It can also be good for those who work downtown.

Downtown Tulsa is developing more residential living options but the Midtown Tulsa area puts you near downtown Tulsa but in a lower density living environment that downtown Tulsa.  The walk score- how walkable a neighborhood is- is good in Midtown as well.  Midtown is quite different from South Tulsa though.  There is lots of growth in the South Tulsa and Bixby area.

In South Tulsa and Bixby, you are more likely to find chain restaurants and stores. There are many new restaurants, stores, health food stores, and fitness centers.  These have been great for South Tulsa and Bixby economic growth.  There is also lots of new construction.

The types of residential real estate in Tulsa vary  in Midtown versus South Tulsa and Bixby.  Midtown homes are generally older homes built from the 1920’s to the 1970’s.  These homes can often be pricey for first time home buyers.    In South Tulsa and Bixby you are most likely to find newer homes than those in Midtown.  For many Tulsa home buyers, especially first time Tulsa home buyers, purchasing a home in Midtown might seem a little out of their price range. Purchasing a home at a lower price and fixing it up can be a great opportunity to get a  home in the area you want, whether Midtown or South Tulsa.  When thinking about what type of home to buy and in what area, ask yourself:

  1. What type of lifestyle are you looking for?  Want to bike or walk to work?
  2. How much risk you are willing to take?
  3. How willing you are to work with a contractor? or How much work you can do yourself?
  4. How much down-payment or equity do you have?

There are lots of great homes for sale in the Tulsa area, talk to your Tulsa Realtor for more advice.

Read,  “What is an As-if Tulsa House Loan” for information on a special type of Tulsa house loan that can save you lots on closing costs.



Funding Options for Limited Credit Tulsa, OK Home buyers

Darryl and Dan Newberry of TTCU discuss the differences between interest rates and APR

When it’s time to get a loan, for a new house or to refinance your current mortgage, there are key terms worth understanding so you can be an informed consumer and make the best decisions for your financial future. Two terms which can be confused but that have distinct meaning are Interest Rates and APR, or Annual Percentage Rate.

Interest rate refers the actual amount of interest you will pay on a loan. This is akin to a fee due to your lender for providing you with the funds to buy your house or refinance your mortgage. Interest rates will vary depending on the current market, in particular the bond markets around the world. A person’s credit will impact the interest rate as well. Those with good credit scores can expect to pay less in interest than those with lower scores. The extra interest helps lessen the risk of lending funds; which is a key reason to keep your credit score in check.

Annual Percentage Rate also known as APR reflects the total cost of a loan over its lifetime. This figure is calculated with a mortgage loan amount, the interest rate, and all fees associated with a loan. Taken all together, an APR reflects how much you are paying to have a loan in place. A key piece of information to keep in mind is, the closer in number an APR is to the Interest rate, the better your loan in terms of costs to you.

APRs creep up when additional fees are included. Lenders can add their own fees to loans, and many have a wide range of fees which may or may not make sense to have in terms of a consumers’ point of view. By checking the APR and comparing to the interest rate, you have a checks and balances way of knowing if you are getting dinged with a lot of extra fees or not.

Another way you can save money on the cost of a home loan is through a flat-fee servicer such as TTCU, which has just one flat fee for all their mortgage loans. Visit  to learn about the different options available and apply for a loan. For real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or



Listen to the Electrical Expert: Get a General Contract when Remodeling

Darryl & Steve from Murray Electric talk about the importance and benefits of hiring a general contractor

If you have remodeling plans or are ready to make some updates in your home, before you begin, it’s highly recommended that you search for, interview and hire a general contractor to spearhead the project.  Take it from first-hand advice, as noted by Steve, from Murray Electric, a general contractor knows the order of how things should be done, and how to get them done well and properly. Electricians work a lot with general contractors, being able to get into a home project at right time based on the expertise of a contractor can make a big difference in time and money expenditures.

Save yourself time and money and lessen your stress by working with a professional. Just as when you’re buying or selling your home, it’s better to work with a Realtor®, who’s there to help and support you, so too is it better to work with a general contractor. Well experienced and trustworthy contractors know how to deal with the permit and inspection processes, and they have their own trusted team of workers to help your remodeling project be completed the way you want it. So how do you find the right general contractor?

Just like hiring a Realtor®, you need to ask questions, and rely on multiple sources for input.  Don’t just go with the friend of a friend option. A friend’s contracting friend may be a great contractor, but the best way for you to find out is to check their references, including recent clients, contact the Better Business Bureau for their rating or to see if complaints have been filed. Another sure way to check on a general contractors’ integrity is to contact the OSCN which can provide you with all public legal documents associated with a person, including as past companies they owned or operated, if there are any liens against them, and if they are fully licensed.

Just as I have created my special FREE report, 20 Questions You Absolutely Must Ask Your Next Agent Before You Sign on the Dotted Line, interviewing general contractors is worth the effort. My ultimate goal is to help educate home owners, seller and buyers, so they can be confident in dealing with their real estate transaction. The same should apply when it comes to being happy with your remodeling project.

The next time you have an electrical issue come up at home, save yourself a lot of stress and time, by having a conversation with Steve at Murry Electric yourself. This is one local service where there is a live person on the other end of the phone. With two locations in Tulsa (918-835-9605) and Broken Arrow (918-254-9771), help is just a phone call away. Find more information at their website:


Featured Properties:

314 E 112th St, Jenks, OK  $280,000, 2,751 SqFt. 4 bedrooms, 3- car garage, Within Jinks school district- A hard to find home for the price and size together!

1554 S. Yorktown Pl., Tulsa, OK $619,000, 6,000 Sq Ft. Historic Home with many original architectural features throughout. 1930s Tudor Style. Full basement, Apartment over the garage and more.

For a complete list of active listings, visit


For real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or