Hankering For a House With a Yard

The Designed to Sell team helps a family get their colorful condo market-ready.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionThe fireplace blends into the walls so much, it is practically hidden. Buyers love fireplaces, so a new facelift on this one could turn it into a selling asset.
Marsha and Mike Flegenheimer and their 3-year-old daughter have outgrown their small, but pleasant condo. They want to sell it and upgrade to a house with a yard. To help finance the upgrade, they will need to make top dollar on the sale of the condo. In the two years the family has lived in the 1,200-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath home, they have done many colorful updates.

Real estate expert Donna Freeman pays a visit to provide the homeowners with honest opinions aimed at getting them a profitable sale. She is a little put off when she tries to enter the living room. The couch is pushed so close to the wall, she has to enter the room sideways! The walls are too minty-green, and the fireplace is not properly accentuated. The mirrored wall in the dining room looks dated and magnifies the clutter. Freeman jokes that no buyer will walk into the kitchen, look at the vibrant-orange cabinets and declare they have found their dream kitchen. Color is also an issue in the master bedroom. The bold-red walls will likely put off potential buyers, and the bulky furniture makes the room feel small.

Designer Lisa LaPorta agrees with Freeman's assessment and has a plan to tone down the color and pump up the selling features.

Step 1: Highlight the hardwood floors, and get rid of the mint-green walls in the living room.

Step 2: Minimize the furniture in the master bedroom, and paint the walls a neutral color.

Step 3: Peel off the orange color in the kitchen and make it shine with a new sink and granite countertops.

Carpenters Brooks Utley and Steve Hanneman are ready to get to work and make this condo dazzle.

The hardwood floors are gorgeous, but they are hidden underneath an area rug and big furniture. The green walls are too bright and minty — they need to be repainted. The tile-mirrored wall in the dining room is a relic of the 1970s. It does nothing to open up the space and only reflects the clutter.