Ultimate Real Estate Test

Schoolteacher Han Trieu and wife Michelle have outgrown their home of four years and are ready to sell. The sooner they sell their home the better, so they turn to the Designed to Sell team to help them accelerate the process.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionThe exterior of this house is dreary and dated, according to real estate expert Shannon Freeman.
Real estate expert Shannon Freeman is brought in to tour and assess the house and its selling potential. She begins with the exterior, where she notes that the garage door is too dark, dates the house and is distracting. Inside, the first thing she sees is a dirty, dated landing and carpet. Buyers may think they have to make a lower bid because they will have to incur the cost of replacing the carpet, she says.

Designer Lisa LaPorta agrees with Freeman's assessment and introduces a plan to get the house in top selling shape in just days.

Step 1: Stock up on storage space. Buyers need space to move into--the more they see, the more they spend.

Step 2: Size it up. Use ample lighting and furniture placement to amplify the square footage and potential offers.

Step 3: Out with the old. Replace mismatched furniture and photo frames to create a more cohesive style.

So how'd they do it with just $2,000?

Cost Breakdown:

countertops and cabinets $726
French door and microwave $365
furniture and lighting $360
window treatments $85
decorative accessories $240
paint and supplies $215

Total: $1,991


The Coaster Company of America
- five-piece kitchen dining set, 7904
- three-piece end table set for living room, 5421
- lamp for living room, 1533

Home Depot
- microwave hood combo for kitchen, 665679000838
- French door for kitchen, 723647371516
- hinges for kitchen cabinets, 033923108232
- hardware for kitchen cabinets, 781266619518
- molding for kitchen, 095043214088
- kitchen and living room paint, Pratt & Lambert Chamois
- master bedroom paint, Behr Classic Taupe

Pride Enterprises
- formica kitchen countertop, Desert Erosions

Contractor's Warehouse
- kitchen cabinets and end pans, Primed

- semiflush lighting pendants for kitchen, Portfolio 13" 2 lite in Brushed Nickel finish, 170555
- curtain rod for living room, 180419
- light fixture for master bedroom, Portfolio semiflush Antique Midnight Gold finish, 170582
- decorative curtain rod for master bedroom, 212185


- three window treatments for kitchen, Rlik, 10046093

Linens 'n Things
- five-piece frame set for living room, 4282812375

- window valance for master bedroom, sewn from Bellagio Royal Legacy bed skirt, 060072190

- bedding for master bedroom, Toscana Bed in a Bag, 005859500