Selling to Relocate

Before it hits the market, a cute cottage-style house gets a much-needed update.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionThe vintage stove and aged cabinets make this room feel like it’s part of a time warp.
Homeowners Nicolette and Jim Lawrence have been too busy raising their two kids to invest a lot of time in their home. But, now that they’re ready to pack up the family and move to Arizona, it’s time to fix the place up. Their cozy cottage-style home has a lot to offer –– pretty backyard, large galley-style kitchen and an open floor plan.

Real estate expert Shannon Freeman is on the scene to give the homeowners her honest evaluation of the home. She starts on a positive note, commenting on how cute the exterior of the house looks. However, Freeman’s comments turn negative upon entering the kitchen. The old appliances and dingy cabinets make her feel like she just jumped off a space capsule and landed in another decade.

Another big problem –– the washing machine and home office are crammed into the kitchen. Having too many functions in one room will confuse buyers. In the master bedroom, Freeman points out that there are no window treatments, mismatched furniture and a dreary-looking bed. The master bathroom also leaves a lot to be desired. The mold and mildew in the shower is enough to turn off any potential buyer.

Designer Lisa LaPorta agrees with Freeman’s assessment and has $2,000 to address all of her comments and concerns.

Step 1: Eliminate the excess functions in the kitchen, add a dining area, and update most everything else.

Step 2: Make the master bedroom feel more like a master bedroom by dressing up the bed and clearing away the mismatched furniture.

Step 3: In the bathroom, get rid of the nasty stuff growing in the shower, tone down the walls with a neutral paint color, and hide the personal items.

Contractors Brooks Utley and Steve Hanneman are ready to lend their expertise and talent to make sure the job gets done.

The old sink is grungy and dirty. The real estate expert thought it looked like a science experiment gone bad. The washing machine is next to the sink, and a computer desk is where the dining table should be. There are too many non-kitchen activities going on in this kitchen; potential buyers need to see the room used for its intended purpose.