Mid Century Bungalow Gets a Pre Sale Makeover

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When we took the challenge of doing a light makeover of this Mid Century Raised Bungalow for sale the mission was clear: Update the 50 year old home that had good bones but at the same time was in need of a pre sale update. This home was located in a high demand area so it was important to maximize the lifestyle appeal of a turn key, bright and open concept home. As is the case with many areas in the GTA, buyers are willing to pay more for a home that’s turn key and it’s our goal to increase the selling price of every home we list.

Background

From our very first meeting it was clear that the owners liked and trusted me and that we would work well together. While this is the ideal situation, many potential sellers are understandably nervous when we talk about preparing their home for sale. Most homeowners know that a properly presented home will garner a higher sales price, but there’s fear about the added stress and potential complications that are worrisome. It’s natural to wonder whether the work you do will pay off…

These are all concerns that many homeowners have and I completely understand. That’s why we have a documented approach and a system for preparing homes for sale, so we can go step by step to maximize the selling price and experience.

Depending on the home, the amount of work and the prep time needed to get the highest price possible can vary from a few days to several months before we list. If you have any niggling feelings that you home might need work before you list it for sale, it’s in your advantage to meet with us early on so that we can determine the scope of work and timeline that is reasonable and achievable for you. Whether it will take one week or two months, we’re working with our clients from day one.

Our approach is to take as much time as is necessary, because rushing the home to market, something that many other realtors push for, can loose a seller tens of thousands of dollars on the sale.

The Makeover Strategy

The first step was to book Stephanie (owner of her own design & décor company, Style by Stephanie) to do the initial staging consultation. In this case, both Stephanie and our clients felt that making some cosmetic updates would improve the appeal of the home. We set an appropriate budget based on market research so that our sellers were confident they would recoup their investment in the sale price, focusing on the items that would provide the greatest impact and return on investment. Within this budget, we were able to refurbish the wood floors, add tile to the front entry, kitchen and bathroom, paint all the trim and walls on the main floor, and update the light fixtures. As is the case with many owners who live in a home for a long time, they also had a lot of furniture and other things collected over the years so Stephanie went through everything to try and work with as much of the home owners items as possible.

Flooring

The first step was to re-finish the hard wood floors as they were looking worn and dated. The home owners were going to refinish the floors in their natural colour, but Stephanie suggested they choose a darker walnut shade for two reasons. First, it would ensure any remaining stains were covered over in case the contractor couldn’t sand them all out and second, the darker shade is a more contemporary and popular colour choice.

floor-before

(Before) While still in decent shape, the 50 year old hardwood floors were showing their age

Sanding and a dark stain modernized the floor, allowed the grain of the wood to show and helped to hide small imperfections

(After) Sanding and a dark stain modernized the floor, allowed the grain of the wood to show and helped to hide small imperfections

We also had the floors in the kitchen and front foyer tiled, which involved removing all of the lower base cabinets in the kitchen to install the floors properly. If the kitchen had stone counters, we would not have done this work, for risk of disrupting and breaking the counters. But since they were butcher block, we knew improving the floors from vinyl added significant value and appeal. We don’t recommend doing anything if it cannot be done properly, and we always work with excellent trades people who take pride in their work.

The high polish grey tile went perfect with the simple white kitchen

The high polish grey tile went perfect with the simple white kitchen.

Bathroom

The next step was to modernize the main bathroom, and we did this by choosing a light coloured marble mosaic floor tile for the bathroom. Stephanie went with our clients to Olympia Tile (a fantastic showroom) to help pick out the tile for the house, all of which was a very reasonable price when working with a contractor. She also has many haunts where she finds high end product at reasonable prices. This is all part of the concierge service we offer for anyone who is listing their home for sale.

Using a more interesting floor tile can add luxury and interest to an otherwise small bathroom space

Using a more interesting floor tile can add luxury and interest to an otherwise small bathroom space

Paint

When preparing a home for sale, a neutral paint colour on the walls is key. Neutral doesn’t have to mean brown, Stephanie often uses muted shades of grey, blue and green to create a calm yet interesting backdrop to the room.

“For this home, the view out the large windows and the refinished floors were the big selling points, so I wanted to use a warm grey (Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Grey) to let these features take centre stage. Again, it was critical to infuse colour into the accents to ensure the listing photos popped and that buyers were attracted enough to book a viewing,” said Stephanie.

A punch of colour adds interest to the staged room. 'I find that staging can sometimes be too boring, so I always try to add a pop of colour' says Stephanie.

Colour is an essential part of Stephanie’s Home Staging Formula. “I find that a lot of staged homes look bland and monotone, so I always try to add a pop of colour to draw attention to focal points” says Stephanie.

Lighting Makeover 

Stephanie sourced a contemporary chandelier that was a major upgrade from the original. Almost every home is lacking the proper amount of lighting to make the home feel as big and bright as it possibly can. In many dining rooms, they can feel boxy and plain, so we use a chandelier as a focal point to really draw the eye to something beautiful.

We almost always recommend lighting upgrades because they always provide more than 100% return on investment.

'You don't have to break the bank when shopping for a chandelier. There are many options in the $200 range and that is very cost effective way to create an interesting focal point in a very important room' says Stephanie.

“You don’t have to break the bank when shopping for a chandelier. There are many options in the $200 range and that is very cost effective way to create an interesting focal point in a room that might be lacking enough architectural interest” says Stephanie.

Fireplace Surround

The original fireplace surround was dated, and some of the tiles on the surround were broken. Given that the fireplace was an important feature and focal point for the room, it was important that it looked in good condition. The home owner was nervous about replacing the floor tile for fear of damaging the wood floors around it. So we focused on the damaged area and covered the fireplace surround with neutral granite slabs. Working with a customer focused tile store like Olympia Tile really helps to ensure we found the best looking options that didn’t risk complications during the installation. We staged the fireplace with an eye-catching piece of art to ensure the buyers focused on the positive features of the room.

fireplace

An attractive fireplace is the focal point of any living space, buyers eyes are naturally drawn towards it.

Pulling it all Together

When everyone is eager and on board, the best things happen. You can see from the pictures that the house was on-point after the makeover was complete. We brought in all the accessories, bedding, art, etc. One of the best selling features of the home was that it was a wide lot home, so it was critical to take advantage of the amount of light the house received. Also, because it was a bungalow, furniture placement was critical to ensure the home felt spacious.

Setting up the floor plan and flow is critical. 1. This Teal wingback chair adds additional seating without blocking the flow to the dining room. 2. The Sleek, minimalist chandelier bring elegance to the space without be over bearing. 3. Mirrors and art help round out the sace

Setting up the floor plan and flow is critical. 1) This Teal wingback chair adds additional seating without blocking the flow to the dining room. 2) The sleek, minimalist chandelier brings elegance to the space without being over bearing. 3) Mirrors and art help round out the space.

If at all possible, try to avoid empty rooms as they make it harder for the buyer to judge the space properly. These two additional bedrooms were vacant, so we furnished them with beds, art and bed coverings from our staging inventory.

The key to superior presentation is to set some small areas of interest. Accessories can tell a story of lifestyle, and tap into a buyer's emotions.

The key to superior presentation is to set some small areas of interest. Accessories can tell a story of lifestyle, and tap into a buyer’s emotions. Using the proper accessories is a huge factor in the success of a makeover.

Final Thoughts

This home is a great example of doing simple upgrades to make the home feel much more contemporary. Our clients understood that it wasn’t about presenting the home in their own personal tastes, because they weren’t the likely demographic of people who would buy the home. Once we identified who would be the target buyer, we made sure all of our effort and choices for the home were geared towards meeting that buyer’s expectations and desires. We were all happy with the outcome of this makeover and our clients were able to cash out and move to thie city.


testimonial


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