Before and After: Remodeling to Sell

Laurie March shares design tips and staging strategies from a townhouse project that sold in six weeks.
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November 25, 2014

Market-Ready Updates

Buyers want to move into a space that requires little to no work up front. Homeowners' Josh Crosby and Amy Swift-Crosby gave this townhouse a crisp 'wow' factor with white and light gray hues.

Buyer's Beware

The original kitchen was firmly planted in the 1980's, from glossy white 4" x 4" tile countertops to black grout lines and appliances. It did nothing to convince buyers to make an offer.

Cost-Effective Countertops

With a tight budget and timeline, homeowners went with butcher block as an in-stock countertop alternative to replace the dated white tile.

Spruce Up the Sink

A large, single-basin, stainless steel sink from Ikea is an affordable update, maximizing the impact of this refreshed kitchen.

Expert Advice

Realtor Kelly Sutherland advised homeowners to replace the aging white appliances with a stainless steel refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave and range. These updates meet the expectation for many buyers in the Santa Monica, California neighborhood.

Quick Fixes

This two-tiered countertop was awkward and inefficient. For a quick, inexpensive fix, a standard depth countertop was installed with extra butcher block, solving the quirky issue and creating additional storage for wine bottles.

Modern Edge

Dated veneer countertops were replaced with butcher block, and light gray cabinets and walls brighten the space. The faux brass trim on the mirror panels is sprayed with a dark gray matte paint. Brushed chrome drawer pulls and hinges modernize the multipurpose space.

Make a Good First Impression

The living room was important in helping buyers form a great first impression. A fresh coat of light gray paint complemented the wood floors and made the space feel larger. Staging with textures, like the shag rug and faux fur blankets, gives the room a luxurious and neutral look for the open house.

Bookcase Appeal

When staging a bookcase, remove all personal photos. Neutral art, books, and plants used sparingly can show off a bookcase to its' advantage.

Visualize Potential

The dining room is staged with a six person dining table, to show buyers how to use the open concept space. Two arches are painted white, which connects the rooms visually. Neutral colored chairs and art create a calming feel, allowing buyers to see potential.

From Dated to Upgraded

While this bathroom was a good size, the peach colored tile was dated and grungy. For an affordable face lift, a tub refinisher recoated the 4" x 4" shower tile in a custom gray finish.

Cut Out Clutter

When you are staging a bathroom for an open house, always remove personal care items from the vanity and shower. Set out fresh, clean towels that match, and add a plant or flower for a spa-like feeling.

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