Selling for a Fresh Start

A young couple gets help getting their starter home ready to sell.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionThe homeowners admit they have always been confused about what to do with this room, which is an addition to the original house. They use it as a combination office and den.
Homeowners Jamie Markand and Alex Walker are about to get married, and they need to sell their house before they walk down the aisle. They are building a much larger place with plenty of room to start a family, so they have wisely turned to the Designed To Sell team to help them get top dollar for their home as quickly as possible.

Real estate expert Donna Freeman is on hand to provide an appraisal meant to boost their bottom line. She likes the well-manicured front yard, noting that it's something potential buyers want to see. She's still impressed when she enters the living room, but when she gets to the guest bedroom she does an about-face. She thinks the room won't appeal to buyers because the walls are plain and cluttered and mismatched knickknacks are strewn about. The door into the new addition is awkward, which makes the space feel more like a hallway than a guest room. That could confuse buyers. Freeman is doubly unimpressed with the laundry room and adjacent small bathroom. The home has a new addition that the homeowners have been using as an all-purpose room because they have never been quite sure what to do with it. It needs a definitive purpose, Freeman says.

Designer Lisa LaPorta agrees with Freeman's critique and has an ambitious plan to help this house go from confused to contemporary.

Step 1: Define the addition. This unfinished space needs to flow with the rest of the house.

Step 2: In the guest bedroom, lose the clutter and the awkward door, and add some much-needed style.

Step 3: Tear down the wall in the laundry nook and create a hallway into the addition. Put up new shelves for storage, and hide the washer and dryer behind new louvered doors.

Carpenters Brooks Utley and Steve Hanneman are ready to tear down old walls and put up new ones.

On the side of the room is a door into the home's new addition, so the room also serves as a hallway. Potential buyers will probably be put off by this strange layout.