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De-cluttering Do’s and Don’ts when selling your home  

Why Declutter your home?

While most homes do not qualify for an episode on Hoarders©, it sure can feel like an overwhelming amount of items to de-clutter when you are moving. It begins as a small, but quick realization that over the years you have just accumulated a lot of “stuff” and you don’t even know how it happened.

Recently I outlined the process for packing and how to begin to tackle that aspect, so here I will cover what to put in the boxes when it comes to Knick knacks and other items.

De-cluttering can take on many different viewpoints. Some may think that picking up clothes off the floor and putting away papers is enough. Others implement “all out war” on every item in their home leaving nothing on the shelves at all. Both approaches do not accomplish a true de-cluttering goal.

When de-cluttering to prepare for a real estate listing, here are key things to keep in mind

  • Once your purge of the property has taken place and donation items and pieces for the dump are taken care of, you can now assess what you will be packing and also leaving out to do the Staging of your home. Stagers need items to work with if you are not going to be renting accessories or furniture from them, so it’s important to make sure that the items you leave out are good for staging and not too personal.
  • Remove all items with your names on it. (ex: diplomas, utility bills, awards, hockey jerseys etc.)
  • Take down and pack all collections (ex: dolls, themes, spoons, etc. )
  • Remove all ethnic or cultural and religious items
  • Remove all evidence of hunting (ex: stuffed game, animal horns, guns, clothing etc.)
  • Take all extra pieces of furniture out of the rooms. Keep room uses set up for what they were originally intended to be. (ex: don’t have an office in the dining room)
  • Remove all dead plant material including dried flower arrangements. These are dusty and usually brittle, broken and old. They don’t scream “Buy me! But scream dirty house” instead.
  • Remove all broken items
  • Pull back all window coverings and remove all items off the ledges of every window
  • Clear all closet floor space, leaving only the absolute must have’s for living there while you are selling
  • Extra pieces of carpets, torn area rugs and extra boot racks should be pulled out
  • Remove all old paint, chemicals and other hazardous waste from the property
  • Remove all miscellaneous renovation materials that are no longer relevant to the existing upgrades currently seen in the home.
  • Take off dated window coverings, and valances
  • Remove all family pictures
  • Take out any extra items from the back or front porches
  • Keep all stairwells and halls empty of items
  • Remove all items off the tops of cabinets and the fridge
  • Remove all magnets off the fridge- tape calendar and other important paper to the inside of a cabinet door (example prescription refills)
  • Remove all stickers and decals off children’s bedroom doors and walls
  • Remove all offensive sexual material (including from the garage!)
  • If you have extra appliances such as a fridge or freezer that can be removed and it’s not being sold with the house, then take it off the property.


  • Shelves should be used for display not for cramming
  • Keep items limited to a few books, similar Knick knacks and some small greenery
  • Put away all computer/ office related binders and books
  • Keep all work related items out of sight so you are not telling the buyers what you do for a living
  • Pack all cords, manuals, cd’s, phone books and computer program boxes
  • Neutral photos can be used to display
  • All DVD’s should be packed or put away so they do not distract a buyer
  • Shelves should also be cleaned, repaired and painted if required

Under Cabinets

Bathroom and kitchen cabinets are areas buyers look in, because they are buying them! So keeping them very clean, and organized is the first priority.

  • Remove all old shampoo bottles, and half used soaps or other products.
  • Vacuum out the cabinets, and make sure all evidence of hair, pets, or people is gone.
  • Use baskets to keep under control the items that you still need
  • Place garbage cans under the cabinets, this will control smells in the room and keep your garbage out of sight
  • Remove all extra pieces of dishware, pots or pans that are not required to be there while you are selling.
  • This is a good time to purge the Tupperware® cabinet, as it seems to multiply all by itself over the years!
  • Reduce cleaning products to a bare minimum
  • Clean out the pantry off all extra cookware, and misc. items that are not required
  • Condense food into one box or one canister for “like” items. Make as much room as you can in that pantry so it appears as large as possible.
  • Go through drawers and only leave enough utensils to use. Pack all the extras.
  • Keep knives off the counters and place under a cabinet, for safety reasons.
  • Laundry shelves also need to be cleaned and de-cluttered

The overall first impression of your home should be spacious, clean and inviting. Too much stuff on shelves and in every closet creates a feeling of being closed in, cramped or not enough room.

No one likes other people’s clutter, so be tough with yourself and keep in mind that every box packed is hundreds of dollars on your bottom line. That being said, it is also important to leave things out like throw pillows, greenery and plants, nice bedding and pillows, artwork and area rugs in good condition. Knick knacks on shelves and books are acceptable in reasonable amounts and when displayed properly.

You do not want to send the message that you have to “vacate in a hurry” so keep this in mind when de-cluttering. Less is not more in this case as it will look like you are under distress in your sale and have to make a move fast. It will also create an empty unappealing look if there isn’t a sense of “home” still with the rooms still set up.

The goal in de-cluttering is removing all the unnecessary things that would distract or overwhelm a buyer, thus taking their focus off your home. It is imperative that their focus be on the space, flooring, upgrades you have done, fresh paint, fireplaces, yards and views…not piles of your stuff. There is no faster way to lose a buyer than to show them all your piles of distracting stuff.

Decide what you are selling….and then sell it. In this case you want to sell your home, so show it off and remove the clutter!

For more information on Preparation for Staging and Selling get your own copy of my eBook here


Jill Turgeon is a Licensed REALTOR at eXp REALTY

Offering her “Real Estate Re-Designed” services to all her listing clients, she can strategize with you on a 15 min no obligation call today

Book it here:



#exprealty #homestaging #stageandsell #jillturgeon #homestager #edmontonstaging #realestate #renovations

This website is not intended to solicit listings already under contract

Return on Investments When Selling a Home

In the real estate world, there are differing opinions on how far a seller should take the upgrades before selling their home. In home staging we also have to consider a number of factors when offering professional advice to a client. This survey on home improvement and return on investment was done by Home Gain in 2011.

So, it is very important to consider these upgrades for a number of reasons.

Number one

Consider if your competitors have done upgrades. Have they been regularly maintaining their property over the years? Buyers are viewing those homes against yours. Buyers will buy a more upgraded home, especially if you are trying to get the same price.

“Market value” is what a buyer is willing to pay you for your property, not what you think it’s worth.

Number two

It does not make financial sense for a buyer to give you a high asking price when they have to invest thousands in upgrades. If they see a house already upgraded, most buyers will choose that one. Just like you probably would. Their reasons are usually the same, they can’t afford to do upgrades. This is because they are already maxed out for the purchase price.

Number three

Buyers often do not have skills to tackle these items themselves. They are not looking to buy anyone else’s headaches.

Dated homes sit for sale

If you chose to keep your property dated and wait longer on the market for a sale, you will encounter a number of stressors. Things like extended carrying costs, double property payments  and double utilities.  Plus double taxes if you already bought a house, more stress, going stale on the market, price reductions…etc.

There is one thing you can do to try to sell faster. If you are not doing upgrades, start off with a much lower price than your competitors. That way you hit the market with enough impact to get noticed and get showings. You may get lucky and find a buyer that is willing to take your “project house” on.

If this is the road you want to go, then it is not enough to be $5,000 under your competition.

You will need to consider the level of upgrades that would be required and drop your starting price to that point. This may mean $10,000- $30,000 or more depending on how extensive the work is.

Investors tend to want to get a “deal” for 60%- 75% of the listing price, so that there is equity already built into the property and they can safely tackle the upgrades without losing money. It just numbers for them. But for you, it’s your equity you are giving away.

Reconsider this and do the upgrades that will put you front and center on the real estate map, and then keep your equity!

Return on Investment

(ROI) and % of how many Agent’s Recommend (AR) these updates in %

  • Clean and De-Clutter = 586% ROI – 99% AR
  • Lighten and Brighten = 313% ROI -97% AR
  • Staging                      = 299% ROI – 80% AR
  • Landscaping             = 258% ROI -with 93% AR
  • Electrical/Plumbing Repair = 181% ROI 92% AR
  • Replace /Shampoo Carpet = 169% ROI with 98% AR
  • Paint Interior Walls = 109% ROI with 96% AR
  • Paint Exterior Walls =51% ROI – 81 % AR
  • Repair Damaged Flooring = 107% ROI 93 % AR
  • Update kitchens and baths = 172% ROI -75% AR

You can see that all updates offer a return on investment, some more than others. The stats are clear that the majority of Real Estate Agents make these recommendations and their advice should be heeded, as they are in the business of selling real estate and they are usually well versed in the ups and downs of selling.

Agents provide a very clear picture of what buyers want, so you would do well to consider their opinion and get your house “saleable” by doing as much as you can to compete with the market.

Real estate has changed dramatically in the last 15 years thanks to all the Home Staging Television shows. Buyers want what they see on TV and they are willing to pay for it.


If you are thinking of selling, I offer a 15 min strategy call on zoom to discuss your specific needs for selling and explain how the staging process works when I list a home



Jill Turgeon


Owner Simply Irresistible Interiors

RESA Award Winning Home Stager


#exprealty #homestaging #stageandsell #jillturgeon #homestager #edmontonstaging #realestate #renovations

This website is not intended to solicit listings already under contract


Money making investments when selling your home

When thinking of selling your home, flooring updates need to be considered, because wear and tear has taken a toll on the property to some degree.

Also, the styles have changed over the years. What was in style 5 years ago, isn’t in style now. Buyers are always looking for the latest thing in design and interior updates.

If your flooring is over 5 -7 years old, has wear and tear or damages it will need to be replaced.

You can consider doing more of the same of what you currently have, but taking in to account the current flooring trends is a better route.

Return on Investment

Home Gain has an ROI chart where all updates are listed and flooring gets a 110% return on investment with 93% of Agents recommending doing it. So it is a benefit!

I agree with this, because I see the value of it everyday when clients can sell their homes faster than the competitors and the steady feedback from buyers is that they loved the new flooring.

If you feel it’s too daunting your other option is to reduce your price or offer a buyer allowance for flooring, but it isn’t recommended. Why give away your equity?

I offer project planning and contractor management, painting, fixtures updates, facelift renovations, and Staging for my listings. We can have a 15 min strategy call to discuss how this works if you and I work together.



In addition to updates and proper pricing, Staging a home brings in better offers than not staging it, So clean, repair and stage your home & price it correctly.


Jill Turgeon


Owner Simply Irresistible Interiors

RESA Award Winning Home Stager



#exprealty #homestaging #stageandsell #jillturgeon #homestager #edmontonstaging #realestate #renovations

This website is not intended to solicit listings already under contract

Working with Contractors Part 2 

In my other blog, I covered the first part of working with Contractors. It would be a good idea to read that as well.


It is super easy to get carried away with all the extras that could be/ should be done “since you are doing it anyway”.

This is a classic thought process and a surefire way to get in over your head. Adding items can add up and they were not part of the original contract. If you are planning to just do floors and paint, stick to your plan. Make sure that in your interviews you have asked enough questions to ensure that this topic doesn’t come up.

If you are painting, ask what is included in that whole process? Ask what would be an “add on”, while you are doing the interview so that you can decide how far to take it, before the work starts.

You can expect 10-20% on top of your original quote for contingency funds and unexpected issues, as their always are!

Quotes should include material, fixtures and labor that will be required to complete project to the specifications. It should also outline who is buying and delivering these items to the site, who cleans up and who pays for clean up.

Have Detailed Contracts

How detailed? So detailed that if, God forbid, all parties in the contract passed away,  a lawyer could easily and plainly see what was to be done and what stage money was payable. And what money was already paid. A contractor that balks at this idea is not one that you should hire. Contracts protect all parties so if they are unwilling to sign something or create a contract with you, then re-think hiring them.


Property damage Insurance, as well as a valid Business license. Take the time to verify this.

Call their references and check their experience, including social media profiles


Are they are able to obtain any building permits if required and are they are knowledgeable about what is needed? In some cases you as the home owner can also obtain the permits yourself.

Payment plans 

Money has to leave your hands at some point so planning a schedule for this is a good idea. Typically, a 30% deposit is paid, then 30% when 2/3rds of the work is done as outlined on the contract and the last 30% when the final day is complete with a 10% holdback for you to have sufficient time to confirm all projects are in fact complete. Call Service Alberta if you have further questions about contracts.

Another option is that contractors will work all week and invoice for the balance owed that week. This is a good system that is trackable and also prevents further confusion on the invoices weeks later when time has passed and it is uncertain what transpired on the day in question. It allows you as the home owner to see progress and the time things take, pay as you go, and keep yourself on budget.

It is also beneficial to the contractor as they are paid regularly and this alleviates the stress of buying materials and also paying their own bills. They are people too and they often have families to feed also, so this is a very good way to work out a fair and equitable plan for everyone.


During the process 


Supervise your contractors

Be there daily so you are well informed. We offer trade management as a service within our staging company if you prefer that option.

A professional is happy to answer all questions

So ask questions, there is no dumb question when it comes to your money being spent.

Never pay for more than has been completed

Depending on the business deposits may be only $500.00. Progressive payments are usually agreed to on a contract, but what can end up happening is that you pay your progressive payment and the work is not actually completed to that point. If you are new at this, this will be a problem and some contractors can smell new blood a mile away.

So again, be clear on the contract and have it reviewed by a lawyer if necessary. A common issue that occurs is that a contractor has worked all week at your house and the completion level is not where it should be, or has run into legitimate issues that held up the progress. At the end of the week, they want a progress payment and the work is not done to that degree. Do you pay? What if they tell you that their rent is due? Or their kid’s soccer dues have to be paid and they promised to pay it today? Do you pay? What if they say they will come back tomorrow (Saturday) to catch up…do you pay? The answer is no. NO.

This always causes tension and if you pay for incomplete work . You will lose in the end when you have paid for more work than has been done and they are now telling you that you owe more than you agreed to pay, and unless you pay they will not finish the work. This is a difficult predicament to be in and it does happen, so research, interview, have an ironclad contract, get legal advice and be prepared to stay on top of all this.

Mandatory holdbacks are required in the province of Alberta

This is not optional. You are legally required to keep 10% of the final pay back to allow time to ensure project is complete to your contractual agreement. Typically you can review your completed project with a few days and then if there are issues, they must be resolved before the final 10% is paid. Contractors may pressure you to give it to them with promises to return to complete items, do not give it to them. Sob stories are for Disney™ not business!


Be Aware!

  • Be aware of a contractor if they request large deposits, or cash only, or payment in full upfront.
  • Be aware if they do not charge GST or have a business license
  • Be aware if they are too vague or do not want to put details in a written contract
  • Be aware if they have no only a box # for an address and no physical location
  • Be aware if they want you to obtain all permits and do not want to be involved in that process
  • Be aware if they pressure you to decide now or offer you a discount for a “now” decision
  • Be aware if they have answering services and do not use their own phone numbers for contact

Although this may sound scary,  I am not trying to scare you from using contractors. Most are fantastic to work with. I am trying to inform you on what can and does sometimes happen, so that you can prepare yourself fully and come out of this process unscathed.

Most often working with contractors, although stressful due to the nature of the projects, is usually a great learning experience and a rewarding time to see your vision come alive. Property improvement, even if you are moving, always carries its own rewards.

For more on this subject and 95 pages of Staging advice, checklists, photos and more….get your own copy of my eBook and get in control of your selling process

Jill Turgeon




#exprealty #homestaging #stageandsell #jillturgeon #homestager #edmontonstaging #realestate #renovations

This website is not intended to solicit listings already under contract


Working with Different Contractors Part 1

When making the move towards doing updates on your property it is intimidating to think about having to deal with contracted trade people. There are many horror stories, lots of them justified, and the thought of tackling this is the biggest reason that most people chose not to. All contractors are not bad news, but there are things to watch out for.

Follow the guidelines below to put yourself in the driver’s seat when making hiring choices and doing the project management.

When considering Price Points is it $5,000 or  $50,000?

This is will be relative to what you haven’t done on your property over the years. The fact is that you do pay for upgrades on your home. This happens by actually doing upgrades or by lowering your price enough to sell. Either way you pay.

Getting written estimates is a good place to start. Verbal estimates seem to mysteriously increase, so always get it in writing!

Get multiple quotes and ask them to be as detailed as possible so you can carefully review them later.


Level of Quality in Product

You do get what you pay for. Reputable companies will typically have been “seen around” town through various long standing advertising. You need to always ask for references from past clients and also Google their personal name and the company name to see if anything pops up.

Do not hire the cheaper contractors simply because you think it’s better to save money. You will not save money. It usually ALWAYS ends up costing you more in the mistakes they make, the issues they create and the headaches you endure. Pay for quality and you will get it.

This doesn’t mean you have to spend over the top amounts to upgrade but you do have to spend something, so don’t choose the lowest price. Go for the middle ground if you are only basing your decision on price.


Contractor scheduling

This is a tricky balancing act even for those who do it every day. Most contractors are not large corporations, but are running self -employed businesses and therefore they have to run the company, market and also do the work. If this is the case, you can expect their estimated timeline for completion to be twice the guess.

This is because they typically have other projects on the go and you are not their main focus. They have to go out to see new clients during working on your house and so the hours they give you are usually broken up.

This actually makes everything take longer because they have to re-focus themselves each time they get to your house and it takes away from progress momentum.

Self- employed contractors are also busy answering their phone and putting out “fires” from other jobs they have on the go. This can and does cause frustration for a Seller who is updating to get on the market in a set time line.

Give yourself plenty of time to get this work done because it always takes longer than they tell you. Self -employed contractors do have some benefits as they are more flexible with hours and pricing, they are usually trying to build a good business reputation and do not want to get a bad name, so are more likely to fix issues to the best of their ability.

Trust your judgment during the first interview and do not be swayed by flashy talk or pushy sales. If a contractor is pushing you to decide right now, say no. There are many options for you hire and you can afford to wait to make the right choice.


Type of property

This will determine the level of upgrades you choose. A starter home does not need granite counters or top of the line hardwood flooring. Do not be up sold in such a case.

Contractors are there to “install only” not determine your product choice or price points you need to spend. However if you have a million dollar home, it needs to be finished with appropriate levels of quality or it will destroy your chances of selling. Choose upgrades that reflect the price point of the asking price.

I can help you with that as that is part of my Pre-Reno consulting service, or when listing your home with me, this is a discussion we can have.


Market Expectations

What are other homes listed in your price range doing? You will need to at least offer that much or take it to the next level and offer more. If your competitors are not upgraded, then you absolutely should  be, as it will secure a faster offer and the best price on the block.

If your competitors are upgraded then you need to be also upgraded at least to that degree or better, to even stand a chance at selling. Today’s buyers are telling the sellers what they want in a home so listen…and you will win.


Budget VS. Return

The ROI on upgrades varies and is also dependent on your neighborhood values. Your budget of course will determine how much you can invest into your sale, so plan a budget that takes in account an overall impact on the property, not just one or two rooms.

It is better to paint a whole house and put new floors throughout, than to just gut and update a couple of bathrooms. Choose your budget to cover all your bases and consider that investing now will prevent future price reductions, so you are actually saving money.

Keep in mind every broken item, damaged wall, crooked cabinet door, etc. will remove dollars off your offers. If your property looks broken down, buyers will want to get it for a deal since they have to fix it themselves. So your offer from them will be less than you hoped for.


Do lots of interviews with contractors. At least 3 each. Spend a few days doing this and ask lots of questions. Searching the internet beforehand to learn what to ask would give you an advantage.

So make sure you are informed before they step through your door. If you are alone in this process, have a trusted friend there to be a support. It is better to have someone there with you to keep you on track and it will help prevent being swayed by pushy sales tactics.

No shows EQUALS no 2nd chances.…if a contractor is a no show for your first appointment, then do not give them a second chance. This is a good indicator of the level of service they will provide you if they are missing their first appointment.

For more information on how to stage your own home and do it right, get your own copy of my eBook


Jill Turgeon



RESA Award Winning Home Stager

Owner of Simply Irresistible Interiors


#exprealty #homestaging #stageandsell #jillturgeon #homestager #edmontonstaging #realestate #renovations

This website is not intended to solicit listings already under contract


Blocked Light

This topic covers a wide range of issues with regard to blocked light when selling a home

Here are some key points to consider:

  • How many windows are allowing light in and how many are being blocked?
  • Trees and Shrubs should be cut back to allow as much light in as possible. Consult a professional on this subject so that the pruning does not kill the trees
  • Buildings can block light, but unless it is a portable shed or structure that could be taken down you are usually stuck with it so paint and interior lighting is the best course of action. Also, keep in mind with regard to RPR’s that outbuildings should not just be taken down as that may affect your RPR.
  • Oversized window valances or coverings are usually out of style and should be removed, in almost ALL cases
  • Neighbor’s recreational vehicles may block light and perhaps they would consider moving them while you are selling? It doesn’t hurt to ask. Not to mention they are a visual eyesore
  • Awnings on decks should be fully closed for showings and if you have dated awnings on the front of your house remove them if the budget allows
  • Exterior roll down security shutters should remain fully open for all showings. This is not a time to hide the house!
  • Use a bright light in the foyer and in the exterior light and leave it on at night
  • Consider adding a mirror to entry to enlarge the area’s appearance
  • Large pieces of interior furniture should be moved away from all windows, including headboards
  • Clean all windows, do both sides of panes
  • Keep curtains & blinds open
  • Clean all drapes, blinds and shutter (including exterior shutters)
  • Choose the brightest incandescent bulb you can (no fluorescent or white LED, this isn’t an office or hospital)
  •  Clean all switch plates
  • Add lamps to all rooms or dark corners
  • Use existing lamps and change the darker shades out to a lighter one
  • Turn all lights on for all showings and ensure exterior lighting works
  • Paint all woodwork panels to a neutral or remove them completely
  • Take out loud color furniture pieces or dark heavy wood furniture

Opening and keeping open all window coverings is the first things and a MUST DO, regardless of the view. Buyers want to know what surrounds them when they are buying. Usually opening the coverings solves a lot of light problems. Having the windows professionally cleaned also will allow sunlight to burst through and give a great, clean first impression.

I highly recommend

Interior Lighting and other Tips

Update all fixtures in the home, if budget allows. This has a great impact and first impression. Stay away from builder style pieces and go for the dressier ones.

I can consult with you on this and even have a Electrical contractor that can install them for you.


Improving the lighting in your home is an easy & Affordable way to add value fast.

Jill Turgeon

REALTOR eXp Realty and Owner of Simply Irresistible Interiors

RESA Award Winning Home Stager

#exprealty #homestaging #stageandsell #jillturgeon #homestager #edmontonstaging #realestate #renovations

This website is not intended to solicit listings already under contract

How to Lighten and Brighten 

Aside from odor, one of the first things buyers say is that a property is too dark. “It’s so dark in here.”

They could mean from an exposure perspective, or it has been too closed up for too long and has not seen the light of day.

Other times the paint colors are way too dark or there is dated wood paneling that has kept the house in the 1970’s. Regardless of why they think or feel it is too dark, is the better question of “How can we fix it before this happens?”

To lighten and brighten a home may be a simple process or an extensive one. Either way it needs to be done. Start with opening all the window coverings or even removing them. See where that leads you, besides exposing the sins of the dirty windows and wells, the bigger item we are looking for is how has doing this changed the brightness of the room?

Natural Exposure and Paint

Exposures of your property create varying degree and colors of natural light and that is a buying factor when buyers consider purchasing a home. Some buyers refuse to buy north facing homes due to the lack of light coming into half the home. So your first plan of action is to determine which direction your home is facing. You cannot change the direction of your home but you can influence its overall interior lighting.

Keep these points in mind when choosing paint

  • North exposure causes a dull gray hue to fill the room
  • East creates a green hue causing a darker cool feeling
  • South exposure brings a yellow or bright hue
  • West adds orange/red and creates deep warm glow

Working with the paint colors and the other elements within the room can make a huge impact on the overall first impression. It is a consistent truth that the paint colors seem to change from the store to the home, from the paint can to the tray and from the tray to wall. And usually when the paint dries, people think the paint colors were mixed wrong due to the stark difference in color. However this is not the case, it is simply the fact that the exposure, weather, and lighting all change color.

Choose colors that work well in all these rooms and if you are having difficulty consider hiring a Certified Color Consultant for help with this. I am a Color Consultant and my number is 780-218-7444 if you want to discuss a consultation.

If you choose to have a consultation for paint color will be well worth the small investment and save you bigger problems later once the new paint is applied and you do not have to change it because it was chosen correctly to start with. When painting to sell, it’s important that no mistakes are made. Universally neutral colors are the best road to take, but be warned all color chips are made up of multiple drops of pigment and therefore cause an undertone.

An undertone can be your biggest nightmare or your best kept secret. Neutral paint will have green, pink or yellow undertones and the key here is to choose paint that enhances your existing fixed elements, not the opposite.

Undertone Nightmare

Before I understood this important truth, I had a client who had a very pink house. Everything from tile, carpet, counter tops, walls, blinds, curtains and sheers, furniture, sinks, tubs…all pink. Even the kitchen cabinets were oak with a light pink wood stain. I had never seen anything like it. So, since we were using all of the client’s furniture for staging and they were unwilling to do other changes, all we could do was paint. So I took my paint fan to the STORE and chose a color. A nice neutral beige, paid for 10 gallons and arrived to paint.

I did the entire top floor, painting in my own little world before I noticed the color in its DRY state. It was green. So now I had a green and pink house! The pink elements in the home were now brighter PINK with the un-complimentary color of the green under toned paint. That lesson cost me a small fortune to fix and led to me get training on why that happened and how to not do it again!

Paint is an inexpensive way to add huge overall impact to a property and it can, if chosen correctly, create a wow factor first impression and add value to your property.

Oh and one more tip, Painters are applicators not decorators, so don’t let them choose your color!


Jill Turgeon


eXp REALTY & Simply Irresistible Interiors

#exprealty #homestaging #stageandsell #jillturgeon #homestager #edmontonstaging #realestate #renovations

This website is not intended to solicit listings already under contract

Using Buyer’s Eyes to Critique your Property’s Repairs  

Buyers today are savvy, they have been very educated thanks to the internet and the television programs on home staging. They are also not spending the way the used to. The economy changes and daily stress of lower incomes and a higher cost of living have created the demand for move in ready homes.

As well there is a generational gap that is more prominent than ever before, younger couples are buying older homes and they are generally more unskilled at property maintenance and updating a home, than their older generation home sellers.

There are multitudes of older sellers moving out of their long term homes and that makes for a flooded market in that category.

The other problem in this scenario is that if a younger buyer is looking in a set price point, they can likely find a new home, with a warranty for the same price as your older unrenovated home.

This happens in every price range, regardless. If your home is in need of repair, why would they buy yours? You are competing with the newer model homes and they are popping up everywhere.

So consider your buyer’s needs and demographic.

If your potential buyer is the demographic of a younger family or a couple with no kids but both work, consider that thinking the way they think and finding out what they want to be your top priority if you want to sell your property

Turning around the Blind Eye

After years of living in your home, it becomes part of you. You tend to get used to the disrepair or the chipped paint and “one day” will get around to fixing the broken closet door and you just don’t see it anymore.

In the weeks to come we are going to give you checklists so you can address these and other issues, and they must be addressed unless you are willing to knock off thousands from your asking price to reflect the work that will need to be done.

Keep in mind that buyers think in “thousands” just like you do when searching for a new home and they want to be compensated for their trouble if they have to repair your half completed projects.


Where to Start- A General Checklist that every Seller needs


  •   Clean door jams and polish handles
  •   Clean furnace filters and wipe the furnace down
  •   Clean drains
  •   Clean septic system
  •   Rent an Ozone machine to deal with smoke smells in the home or garage and follow instructions as they can be dangerous
  •   Clean oil stains off the garage floor (CLR™ should work for this or try Coca Cola ™)
  •   Clean and wax floors
  •   Basically clean every single thing in the house
  •   Clean all door tracks and window tracks
  •   Clean Windows, Gutters, & take Christmas lights down
  •   Sweep out and if possible wash garage floor & paint it if you can with proper products



  • Repair holes in gutters and fix all eaves that may be falling down, as well as have them cleaned.
  • Fix broken doors, baseboards, trims, windows
  • Fix gates and broken fences
  • Make sure garage doors all open and close properly
  • Service sprinkler systems
  • Repair damaged steps or door casements
  •  Repair damaged screen doors
  •  Replace broken light fixtures
  •  Repair any tiles that need it- floor or back splash tile
  •  Fix all dripping faucets and the damage they may have done under the sink
  •  Service noisy exhaust fans (kitchen and bath)
  •  Remove rust stains from sinks and toilets
  •  Remove mold and dirt build up from bathrooms and kitchens
  •  Ensure locks are working easily / replace if they are sticking or stubborn
  •  Oil hinges on doors
  •  Ensure doorbell works properly
  •  Ensure shutters are in good condition
  •  Fix cracks on ceilings or walls or in basement ( don’t hide anything from the buyer)
  •  Silence noisy floors
  •  Replace worn toilet seats and covers, take off themed toilet seats or incorrectly sized ones
  •  Remove plastic runners or glued down rugs and repair the damage they may have caused
  •   Seal or re-surface driveway
  •   Add gravel to bare patches like along the side of the house where no sun is)
  •   Re-grout any tile if necessary
  •   Re-caulk and repair seals in shower enclosure and around sinks
  •    Ensure that toilets don’t run continuously
  •   Update toilet paper holder, towel racks and curtain rods
  •   Patch floors where damage has occurred or replace flooring
  •   Update batteries in all smoke alarms
  •   Make sure burglar alarms are working
  •   Secure area rugs

This list is very important to take heed to and is by far the most time consuming items on the preparation report.

In many cases, not everything will need to be addressed, so you can tackle your projects in their own order of importance.

Property’s often get neglected in many areas and as you can see once you start addressing an issue there will be another to take its place.

All of these points are items that do affect the buyer’s first impression and also what they feel your property VALUE truly is. If there are many unattended projects left for a buyer, they will either walk away and find a home that is move in ready or they will low ball your offer enough to justify the work they will have to do.

The many Television shows on Staging and Buying Real Estate attest to this.

And as I said before, Buyers think in “thousands”. So spend a couple days or a couple weeks getting these items looked after and in the end you will reap the rewards of the best sale price you can get.

For more information on Preparation for Staging and Selling

call Jill Turgeon, REALTOR


eXp Realty & RESA Award Winning Home Stager


#exprealty #homestaging #stageandsell #jillturgeon #homestager #edmontonstaging #realestate #renovations

This website is not intended to solicit listings already under contract

How Clean is Clean?  

Everyone’s perspective on clean is different, as I can attest to after seeing thousands of properties in my Real Estate and  Staging career over the last 23 years. Even some professional cleaning companies have different views on what they deem as clean, which can make even hiring cleaning companies a bit tricky.

To sum up what  I will write about I will cut to the chase and say that your home, when prepared for sale, should be WHITE GLOVE clean.

This means that anyone can wear a white glove and wipe any surface of your home and the glove stays white. Even in areas like the tops of door trims…Sounds complicated? It is, but it’s manageable. It will require a “face to face inspection” of areas that you normally don’t get too close to!

Let’s start with a major once over clean of your home

This will occur after all the de-cluttering, packing updates and repairs. It is the step before the Staging.

So first, having these other items taken care of will make the cleaning process go much smoother. A large portion of what would have normally hindered your progress is now out of the way.  You can begin at the top or back of your house and make your way to the front door, using a room by room process or you can do all similar items at the same time.

For example, all light fixtures, then all window sills…and follow that pattern. Whatever works best for you and your family.

Remember that cleaning will represents hundreds of dollars to your bottom line and it is worth doing to create the best first impression for the buyers.

Take the following list and use it as the guide to make your master list

  • Clean fireplace thoroughly
  • Clean out ashes and remove all firewood
  • Clean off soot stains with soot remover
  • Clean all chandeliers and light fixtures & change bulbs to yellow/ incandescent
  • Polish all woodwork, including furniture
  • Clean back splashes in all bathrooms and kitchens
  • Polish mirrors
  • Clean all window screens and storm doors and screens
  • Clean front door hardware
  • Clean the front entryway very well, it reflects the first impression of the entire house
  • Sinks should be free of food, stains and odors
  • Keep dishes done and put away every day
  • Clear off all small appliances off the counter tops
  • Take all items off the refrigerator (top, front and sides)
  • Clean cabinets of all stains and food splashes. This will require getting on your knees in front of the cabinets for a “face to face inspection”. You will be surprised what you find!
  • Clean kitchen exhaust fan, filters, hoods
  • Clean bathroom exhaust fans, they can be easily pulled down, washed and put back up or for a few dollars they can be replaced. You can find them at home improvement stores.
  • Clean toilets using “the face to face” approach
  • Wash all sinks and faucets, including behind them. They should shine.
  • Clean oven, stove top, burners (replace burners if needed)
  • Run a dishwasher load with CLR™ only
  • Empty the refrigerator and wash all drawers, and shelves. Buyers are buying these appliances and will look inside them. Clean exteriors as well.
  • Wash all floors, staircases and closet floors. Keep swept and shiny
  • Wash all baseboards throughout the house. Face to face inspections!
  • Organize all scrub pads, cleaning supplies and soap under the sink
  • Empty pantry by 50% and wash all shelves
  • Keep interiors of cabinets neat, clean and free of smells. This will require de-cluttering the pantry also. Cabinet interiors should reflect storage space and should not look cramped and “too full”
  • Empty garbage daily to prevent odors
  • Eliminate all odors “If you can smell it, you can’t sell it!”
  • Wash walls, especially high traffic areas that have been used and abused
  • Clean ceiling fans
  • Clean and dust everything (doors, mirrors, shelves, baseboards…)
  • Clean carpets or update them to the most current trends
  • Vacuum often, including the couches. Pet hair is a turn off, so stay on top of it.
  • Clean under and behind appliances. This is a dirty job but somebody has to do it
  • Garbage out daily
  • Cat litter cleaned every day, or if you have other pets, keep their wood shavings or “messes” clean 100 % of the time, you never know when you will get a last minute showing (put a soft air freshener nearby)
  • Call an exterminator to deal with any insect problems 

For more information on Preparation for Staging and Selling book a 15 min call with

Jill Turgeon eXp REALTY



#exprealty #homestaging #stageandsell #jillturgeon #homestager #edmontonstaging #realestate #renovations

This website is not intended to solicit listings already under contract

Updating Kitchens and Bathrooms

Kitchens and bathrooms do help sell houses, although not the main deciding factor, they are strong contenders when buyers consider what property they will now call home. Buyers consider these rooms when they are house hunting because of the difficulty of renovating them and the expense that would be required.

If you have been diligent in the upkeep and upgrades of your home then this blog will be a breeze! However, if you have never updated your home or maintained the repairs in the baths and kitchens, then this could be a pricy section!

Truth be told, you will pay to do upgrades in these rooms, either when it comes time to sell and you have to reduce the price to reflect the work needed, or over the years while you live there and have been paying to maintain and upgrade.

Homeowners typically should be spending 1-3% of their market value every year to upgrade and maintain their property in good condition. So if this has not been done, it will need to be.

What types of upgrades can you do?

  • Updating Appliances in all the same color, this includes the hood fan, especially if they are more than 10 years old.
  • Replace or Repair all damaged tiles or flooring
  • Repaint kitchen cabinets (or do touch ups)
  • Consider a kitchen update if they are older than 7 years. New kitchens price at $8,000 and up, depending on if you are installing them yourself. This is not recommended for beginners no matter how keen you are!
  • Install new countertops
  • Update flooring, even a small bathroom looks like a new world with brand new floors
  • Update light fixtures, there are many nice affordable and trendy options out there- Ask Jill if you have questions on what to buy
  • Paint the ceilings
  • Take off old tiles in the bathtub or shower and add a new surround. A simple do it yourself kit can be purchased for around $400.00
  • Add under cabinet lighting
  • Add new shower faucets and shower rods
  • Re-grout your existing tile if it is still in good shape, adding a new grout color can go far
  • Fresh paint colors in warm neutrals make a room look 100 x better for a small investment of time and money
  • Update faucets to the latest trends
  • Tighten all knobs, or replace for a modest cost. Knobs range from $3.00 to over $10.00 per piece, so it is a small investment for a great improvement
  • Replace toilet seats, especially if they are cracked, wooden or themed ( yes I said themed! Bye Bye dolphins and fish)
  • Add new blinds or window coverings (these often stay as included in the offer, so take this into consideration)
  • New sinks, curtain rods and towel bars also make a great first impression


You are giving the buyers every reason to buy your house

So carefully consider the first impression and ask yourself what do you look for when you are the buyer?

How do you compare houses when you are the buyer?

Then create a property that will attract buyers. It’s as simple as that.



Book a 15 minute call with Jill


Jill Turgeon eXp REALTY



#exprealty #homestaging #stageandsell #jillturgeon #homestager #edmontonstaging #realestate #renovations

This website is not intended to solicit listings already under contract
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