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

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


How to Save 1% and Lose 3% When Selling Your Home

Darryl talks about why it’s important to have a Realtor® at your side as well as the importance of interviewing.

When hiring a real estate agent, many people only consider what their commission rate is. However, when interviewing agents, there’s more you need to consider. You should be sure to choose a Realtor® that has the right fit of expertise, works in the right neighborhood, understands how to interpret the market, is available to help you, and has a system in the background that takes the chaos out of home sales. While paying a higher commission doesn’t always make a difference, paying less can often hurt your situation.

Let’s compare a real estate agents commission to something else. I have a personal experience when I hired an accountant that charged less than others. I thought I was saving money by doing so, but for 3 years, I was paying a large part of my profit back in taxes. Finally, I listened to my friend, and spoke with their accountant. He charged 3x as much as mine. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to afford him and the enormous amount of taxes I was paying at the end of the year. But, this gentleman knew how to do taxes, properly allocate funds, and he was a financial planner. I ended up hiring him, and I received 6x what I’d been paying in. This is why it’s important to analyze the level of skill a professional has when looking at their fees.

Why is it important to have a Realtor® by your side? They serve as a communicator between the home buyer and seller. This is good to have due to the emotional ties we have toward our homes. They help with issues that occur, such as the appraisal comes in lower or a maintenance issue. They can tell you out of X amount of sales, X% accepted an issue that came up during the home inspection. Of course, they get you to the ultimate goal – the closing table. As well as getting everyone to agree to the terms and have the terms be adequate to seal the deal. When hiring be sure to hire someone with the right experience and knowledge as well as someone you trust.

How is your listing price determined? This price is determined by more than looking at what your neighbors home sold for, or what someone said your home is worth. It’s determined by what the buyer thinks, which is more than a standard Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) does. It’s also the job of the Realtor® to educate both the buyer and the seller of the facts and data that determine this amount. This takes the emotional aspect out of the equation to allow each party to make a better decision.

What is the difference between making your house perfect vs. cutting corners? When preparing your home for the market, you may be unsure of how much money you should spend when making repairs. Covering things up instead of fixing, is cutting corners, which I’m not an advocate of. However, there are some individuals that feel if they don’t fix an issue perfectly, they aren’t being fair or honest with the home buyer. But, today’s buyers are looking for homes that are a deal, one with no structural damage. They would prefer an issue being fixed enough for them to be worry free for the next 5-10 years. Otherwise, if you spend an enormous amount of money, the home would be priced out of their market, and not affordable for most. An agent will help you understand the best option for any home maintenance issues that need to be fixed.

Go to to download a free home seller report with no obligation. You can also schedule a call with me at

Featured Properties:

1181 E. 131st, Jenks, OK – 10 acres with an option of 58; over 16,000 Sq.Ft.; This is a beautiful custom design and build home. It completely surrounds a private courtyard and pool. There’s an expansion property and lookout tower. This can be a legacy home, or converted into a business. It’d be perfect to hold wedding receptions.

752 Knobb Hill Dr, Cleveland, OK – Sand Springs – $170,000, Split-level, 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 3 acres with a lakeside view, easy access to 412, flexible floorplan, grand entry suite.

4706 S. 178th E. Ave, Broken Arrow, OK – $259,000, 3,000 Sq. Ft. 2-story home with 4 bedrooms, and optional 5th bedroom or game room upstairs. Has 2 dining rooms, breakfast bar, 3 living areas and a 3-car garage. Located in Stonegate neighborhood. You won’t find many homes with these features for this price.

940 E. College St, Broken Arrow, OK – Very affordable condo ideal for convenient living. $68,000. 2-bedroom, 1.5-baths, 2-level unit in Broken Arrow. Live a more care-free lifestyle close to downtown. The best of urban village living within a home-town atmosphere.

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

The 4 Things Green Country Homebuyers Need to Know About Electric Systems

Darryl & Steve from Murray Electric talk about the 4 most important facts to know about the electric system when buying a home.

If it’s time to buy a home you have plenty of things to think about, plan for and learn. My goal as a Realtor® is to provide helpful advice to homebuyers and sellers alike, so they can make the best decisions for their needs and be happy with the results. One way for homebuyers to close on a property with confidence is to understand key components about a home they are buying.

Steve with Murray Electric has taken a look at my personal list of the top 4 things every homebuyer around the Tulsa, OK and Green Country region should know about in any home they purchase. The verdict is in, Steve seconds the motion of this list, and so without any further delay, here are the 4 things every home buyer should know about the electric system in their house:

  1. What is the Voltage Level of outlets? 220 volts has been standard for quite a while now and is just what’s needed to run most any appliance or electronic device. Homes built before 1950 may have a different voltage of 120, which used to be the standard. If you’re buying an older home, be sure to know the voltage so you can plan accordingly. An update may be needed, or you may need to use gas or propane-operated appliances instead of electric ones.
  2. Is there a Fusebox in the house? It used to be every house had a fuse box, in which as a homeowner you could replace a blown fuse, or ‘Jimmy-rig’ a fuse with a temporary fix (such as inserting a copper penny at the fuse point), until you got the replacement fuse. Fuse boxes and the ease with which they can be ‘McGivered’ has actually created a higher-risk situation in many older homes, to the point that some insurance companies won’t cover a property with a fuse box. A Circuit breaker board is the safer and current code-required way to go.
  3. Where’s the Main Panel? The panel is where your home’s electrical system is controlled and where your circuit breakers are located. Each circuit can handle a certain amount of power running through it. If you have many electrical devices or make some major home improvements in the future, you may need to add to the size of your panel. Knowing where it is will help you access it when a breaker trips, and you’re left in the dark. It’s also important to know if the Main Panel is in a closet or not. Small enclosed spaces for an electrical panel are a higher risk for fire damage. If your main panel is in a closet, speak to the folks at Murray Electric in Tulsa to help ensure it’s in a safe place.
  4. Are the Outlets Grounded? This is critically important with our digital lifestyles. If you don’t have grounded outlets, you’ll want to invest in power-surge protectors. Not only will this lessen the risk of damage to your devices should there be a power surge, but some electrical components won’t work unless through a grounded outlet, such as a coax cable for your TV. One easy way to find out if your outlets are grounded is to get a simple tester at your local home improvement store. For just a few dollars, a tester plugs in and gives you the green light or red to know for sure.

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 Murray 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:

314 E 112th Street, Jenks, OK

314 E 112th Street, Jenks, OK

Take an eXp 3-D Virtual Tour!


This home has a prime location, it’s on a quiet cul-de-sac in Jenks, OK. It features an open great room, island kitchen, flex room office, and whirlpool tub. Three bedrooms are on the first floor and a complete bedroom suite with game room is upstairs. There is a front porch, large covered back porch and the home is constructed of full brick for low maintenance.


Contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or