Today I am bringing you behind the scenes of our design and renovation process. Renovating your home right before putting it on the market can increase your sale price considerably. However, while you might have an idea for your budget, you need to be mindful of which updates will truly increase your home value and make the investment worth your while. 

Lucky for you, that is what I do, and I am the best at it. But don’t just take it from me — Design by KETI did receive another year of Houzz awards for Best in Design and Best in Service! Together, these two categories perfectly sum up what we do for our clients, and today, I’m showing you exactly how we do it.

Ready to design and renovate your home? Sit back, relax, and explore our tried-and-true process...

highland park home renovation success story living room white furniture builtin
A successful Highland Park home renovation. The first buyer who toured the property bought it!

Step 1: Consultation Phase

We always start with a pre-project Consultation or “Work Session” as I like to call it. (Yes, we’re already getting to work at this phase!) This is the time where we get to know each other and determine the driving selling points of your home — which are essential to knowing what to renovate. 

Here’s what we’ll cover in this jam-packed session:

1. Identify your target buyers

We need to determine first and foremost who your target buyers are. You might think, “But Keti, I want my home to appeal to everybody.” I can understand that line of thinking, but trying to appeal to everyone is going to result in appealing to no one. 

When renovating the home, we want to make sure it appeals specifically to the target buyer and their lifestyle. During our discussion, we’ll determine how old they are, if they are married, do they have kids, their annual income, etc. Targeting a specific group will make your property stand out to those people and get them to the closing table!

2. Set your design & renovation budget 

During this Consultation and Work Session, we will discuss how much you should invest in the renovation as well as the current price point of your home. The purpose of upgrading your home before putting it on the market is obviously to increase its value, so my responsibility is to ensure we target upgrades that maximize your ROI... without pricing the home out of the market. We specialize in finding that sweet spot!

3. Define the scope of your renovation

When it comes to the scope of the renovation, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Not all design projects are the same; some could be minor upgrades, while others could include intense renovations. Once I know the property and your budget, I’ll be able to advise on the best course of action:

4. Assess the fixed elements of your home

The “fixed elements” of your home refer to items that are physically installed, like countertops, cabinets, flooring, fireplace surround and mantel, trim, etc. Since these elements are stationary, unlike decor, it is important to decide which ones we will be keeping and which ones we will be changing. (Remember, this decision is made based on your target buyers, what suits their lifestyle and most importantly your budget and whether the change makes financial sense.) 

5. Create your design concept

You know that feeling you get when entering a newly designed home? When it feels fresh and welcoming? That is the exact experience we want to provide your target buyers with when they tour your home. Using our decisions for scope, budget, and fixed elements, we’ll create a design plan that includes on-trend elements that exude freshness and timelessness and will attract your target buyer like bees to honey!

6. Map out the staging plan

The last step of the consultation phase is mapping out the design blueprint for staging your home. We will create a visual of the furniture placement, of the scale of fixtures we will be using, and account for the additional furniture pieces we need to make the home feel spacious and welcoming (using price point appropriate staging furnishings, of course). 

Furniture plays a big role, and we never want to cheapen your home with low-level furnishings, regardless of price point. Staging should be inspirational. At the end of the day regardless of the price point, when people buy things, they always buy up. There is a certain status that goes along with it. I always like to say, no one buys a Rolex because they want to know what time it is... and not one single person buys a Tesla or a Bentley just because they need wheels to make it to their office each day. That's just a bit of human Psychology 101 for you. 😉

Remember, the design elements are what make make the house itself feel timeless, but the furniture and decor is what makes the house feel like the home they always wanted but never had. Emotional connection that inspires buyers to make an offer!

dallas renovation revive a dead listing design by keti dining room open concept
This renovation and home staging project was a true success story. After sitting on the market for months, we were able to breathe life into this listing. The first buyer to tour the house bought it! 

Step 2: Design Phase

Now that we have a clear idea of what the design and renovation project will entail, we move on to my favorite part: the design plan. We start by creating a map for all the minor or major renovations we need to do. The design plan includes two main elements:

1. Color Palette

The color palette is the foundation of your home’s design. It should tie all the fixed elements together cohesively, create expansiveness, and appeal to your target buyer. For homes being staged for sale, neutrals (with the correct undertones) are the best way to go.

2. Material Specification 

Although we have already established in the Consultation which materials we will need to include in the design, now is the time when we officially select them. We’ll source materials for your flooring, fireplace, countertops, cabinets, backsplash, vanities, lighting fixtures, hardware, etc. For many of these items, we’ll get quotes from the manufacturers in advance before officially purchasing.

dallas culture map feature home staging design by keti living room fresh elegant
This renovated Dallas home not only closed after 2 months from listing, but the homeowners achieved their ROI goal and sold it for $1 million! It also got featured in Dallas Culture Map

Step 3: Renovation Phase

Once we submit the design plan and we have all agreed on it, it’s time to get to work. However, there are multiple ways to proceed:

dallas renovated bedroom home staging design by keti open spacious warm
We achieved an ROI of 150% on this renovated Dallas home

Step 4: Home Staging Phase

This is where our design plan finally comes to life. My team ad I will bring in the elements of the staging, as agreed upon in our Consultation, which includes furnishings, art, and decor in a timeless yet on-trend style. Remember, it’s not about what you or I like. It’s about what your target buyer likes! (In fact, all of the photos you’ve seen so far include spaces that we have professionally staged — and they all flew off the market.)

The very last step is getting your home professionally photographed, putting it on the market, and get ready for the offers to come your way! 

Final Thoughts

Whether your home has been sitting on the market without any movement — or you’re trying to avoid this situation entirely — I am confident that we can freshen up your listing to generate tons of interest and get your property sold in no time. I love interior design, but the strategy behind designing a home for sale is my passion. 

I can’t wait to help you make back your initial investment… and then some!

Ready to start sprucing up your property listing? Book your 15-minute discovery call with me today!

To you and your best home sale,

Keti

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up here for our Guide to a Stress-Free and Profitable Renovation!

One of my clients’ most frequently asked questions is “Why do I need home staging services to sell my home?” The answer: Marketing! 

We are all familiar with the concept of home staging and how important it is in the selling process. But, you wouldn’t believe how many homeowners are still hesitant to invest in revamping their properties before putting them on the market. 

To sell your home, you need to market it. And for that, you need to work on your packaging, AKA, staging. This project I’m about to share with you is a special one… and living proof of why you need me! 😉

Project: Matching This Lovely Home with the Right Owners

Our clients were Dallas natives who enjoyed living in this home for some time. After a few years, they decided to sell the home and move on to the next chapter of their lives. Like most of our clients, their main goals were to sell the property fast and at the highest price possible, which is when they called me.

Here is what the property looked like before…

Before Home Staging

dallas home before renovations 
property listing real estate market
The outside felt welcoming but needed a few touches to revive it.
dallas home before renovations 
property listing real estate market walls and floor look dated
The paint and trims were in decent condition but aesthetically looked dated.
dallas home before renovations 
property listing real estate market missing a modern touch
The living room and kitchen had a beautiful open layout. They were missing a touch of modern luxury to appeal to buyers.
dallas home before renovations 
property listing real estate market needed refreshing
The kitchen was open but lackluster, and it needed a few new fixtures to feel fresh and up-to-date.
dallas home before renovations 
property listing real estate market bedroom has potential
The bedrooms had tons of potential, just needed some love.

Setting the Design & Staging Strategy

Setting the design and staging strategy is such an important step in our process. It allows us to assess the main architectural components of the home (fixed elements) that we have to take into account when planning the staging design. That’s how we create a design that looks cohesive, feels warm and inviting, and is on-trend yet timeless. 

The result will be a home that potential buyers can identify with and picture themselves living in.

Identifying the Home’s Ideal Buyers

The first step is to identify who we wanted to market this home to. When you know your buyers, you can determine what they need and plan your design accordingly. During our home staging consultation, we discussed who we believe this home would be perfect for. 

Because this lovely home is a few miles away from White Rock Lake, near uptown/downtown, and has a great school district, we established that young professionals with children were the best demographic to target. 
We knew that with young professionals as our ideal buyer, this home would need to be staged as move-in ready. You can see how this information changes our approach!

Creating the Design Plan

Once we identified our ideal buyers, it was time to get to work. We put a list together of the main areas of the home that needed our attention. 

The distinction between interior design and home staging is that we’re not renovating a home for the owners to live in, we are marketing it to sell. So our overall plan is driven by the goal of emotionally sparking that aha moment for the buyer, making them think, “This is the one!”

Here’s what we did...

After Property Updates & Home Staging

design by keti front porch rocking chairs welcoming home staging case study roi

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, focusing on the curb appeal of your property is crucial. That’s where all the magic happens. You’re not just selling a home — you’re selling an experience. Who doesn’t find rocking chairs on a covered porch inviting??

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study fresh and bright living room

We started by updating the wall paint and trim. This is something we always do in these types of projects. A fresh coat of paint is perhaps the easiest and most effective way to revive a space. You can feel it when you walk in the door!

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study warm welcoming front entry

The front entry’s open layout felt warm and welcoming, but the former travertine tiles gave it an outdated look. To achieve a more luxurious feel, we got rid of the tiles and replaced them with lightly sanded natural wood. We also stained all hardwood flooring to match everything. It has a slightly warm undertone that pairs perfectly with the cool shade of the walls and trim.

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study luxurious modern living space

Once the walls and floors were updated, it was time to bring in some furniture. For this project, we used our inventory alongside some of the pieces the homeowners already had. This entry room and formal dining space had bright large windows and nice built-ins. They complemented the overall luxury look we wanted (to match the price point of the home) yet feel warm, welcoming, and delightfully livable.

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study revived kitchen and breakfast nook

With a few light fixture swaps and furniture additions, the kitchen was revived into the warm family space it was meant to be. Can’t you picture yourself cooking and hosting in this open space? How about a morning coffee in that lovely breakfast nook? (This home’s eventual buyers certainly could!)

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study butcher block and travertine backsplash

We also shaved off the butcher block that was sticking out previously, and replaced the travertine backsplash with a stainless material to match the rest of the kitchen. So much more current and cohesive now.

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study elevated upstairs living space

As you make your way upstairs, you are welcomed by another living space with a small wet bar that we upgraded. We added a dining set and a sofa to elevate the space and make it feel warm and welcoming.

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study bright and sophisticated master bedroom

We didn’t stage all the bedrooms but chose to focus on this master bedroom. After updating the trim and flooring, we swapped the bed set for a modern looking one to appeal to today’s buyers. The room feels spacious and inviting without being overdone.

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study luxury master bathroom

This spa-like master bathroom was the true showstopper. With a large walk-in shower, and a vanity countertop, all we had to do is spruce it up with some staging elements.

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study updated light fixtures and seated vanity

The updated light fixtures and seated vanity area contributed to the overall luxury feel. These are the details that support the home’s price point — so making an offer at or above list price feels like a no-brainer to buyers!

What Were the Results?

design by keti dallas home staging roi case study renovated formal living room

Because every story needs a happy ending, let me fill you in on the results for this particular project. After Design by KETI helped renovate and stage this lovely home..

Can I let you in on a secret? This project was completed in 2017. That’s right, 3 years ago! But guess what? It STILL looks as up-to-date then as it does now.

That is the value of timeless design — and trust me, buyers know when a home is too trendy and won’t have resale value years down the road. This is design and staging done right.

If you’re having trouble with your listing (or want to make sure you do it right the first time), let’s talk. We’ll get to know each other, discuss your goals, and come up with a smart plan that pays off.

Keti

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up here for our Guide to a Stress-Free and Profitable Renovation!

The smart and savvy Real Estate sellers realize that putting their home on the market is a two-step process.

First Step Preparation - It includes things like, painting, changing or cleaning carpets, updating hardware and light fixtures, attending to the curb appeal of the home etc.

Next Step Presentation - Otherwise known as Styling and Staging of the home to appeal to the demographic of the neighborhood where the home is located.

Only then your home will outshine the completion in your neighborhood and sell for more and in less time.

Let the experts at Design by KETI help with the entire process and sit back and relax. No need for you to chase after the painter and the carpet guy and the handyman and the professional cleaning crew,  in addition to also finding the right stager for you.

We got it all covered for you!

Our goal is to make your life EASY and make your home selling venture enjoyable and delightful especially once you look back and realize all the extra money you made at the sale of your home, with minimum investment and effort on your part.

Take the home featured in this clip as an example. For a minimum investment and very little effort on the sellers part, it sold shortly after it got relisted as a professionally renovated and staged home.

Cheers,

Keti

O: (214) 814 – 5967

E-mail: info@designbyketi.com

To invite Keti Abazi, to be a speaker at your meeting or function, you may contact info@designbyketi.com.

 Your audience will find her presentations on Home Staging not only educational but also amusing, genuine and refreshing.

 

We increase the value of real estate through profit driven and timeless design for renovations and home staging. Whether you’re flipping a property, renovating, staging to sell, or want to wisely invest in updates, your ROI is our business.
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