Painting three rough walls pastel yellow to brighten up a room and adding a few decorative pillows to the couch are simple ways a Staples family made their home more appealing to prospective home buyers.
Ron and Cindy Denning put their four-bedroom, one-story home on the market in February and have not yet sold it. Cindy said she anticipated it would be hard to sell the house during the winter. They had a few showings and prospective buyers thought the house was too small.
The Dennings painted three walls in the family room to brighten the room and removed a lot of clutter.
The Dennings' real estate agent, Penny Nelsen of Edina Realty, suggested they hire Right on the Money Home Decorating, an interior design service that offers home owners suggestions on making their home more appealing to buyers.
Cindy hired the service because she likes to decorate and thought it'd be fun.
Sandy Vesel, a mortgage loan officer at Optimum Mortgage Services, Inc. of Baxter, owns Right on the Money Home Decorating. Vesel contracts with Diane Larson, owner of Your Partner in Design of Brainerd, for her interior design expertise.
Vesel and Larson spent a few hours at the Dennings' home in March to see what they needed to do to make the house sellable. Vesel and Larson found numerous ways to improve the home.
The family room of Ron and Cindy Denning's home in Staples had too many personal belongings and the room was too dark.
Two rooms that needed to change were the master bedroom and the family room in the home's lower level.
Vesel said the Dennings' master bedroom had too many pieces of mismatched furniture and needed more space.
Larson said people could not see the hardwood floor in the room, and such floors are a nice selling point. She suggested the Dennings remove the mirror in the room and rearrange the furniture. She also suggested the family's rocking chair, which was in storage, be placed in the bedroom.
"I would have never thought to put the rocker in the bedroom," said Denning. "It looks perfect in there. It was nice that I was able to use my own furniture and not have to buy anything new."
Another suggestion was for Denning to buy an inexpensive burgundy or mauve bedspread to warm up the room. Denning decided to buy a more expensive bedspread that she would be able to use in the new home.
Denning removed the wallpaper border and painted the plain white bedroom walls a French country color. A few pictures in the hallway were moved to the bedroom for an added touch.
This is the master bedroom after the updates. The antique rocking chair was taken out of the storage room and placed in the bedroom for a nice touch.
In the family room, the Dennings painted three walls pastel yellow to brighten the room. They removed a lot of books from their bookshelf. They also removed many items they stored in the family room, including Little Tykes toys. The family is renting a storage unit for their extra belongings.
Several items in the two children's bedrooms were removed, a hutch and a shelf were removed from the kitchen and a piano was removed from the living room to provide more space in the home.
The Dennings could implement the suggestions themselves or have Right on the Money Home Decorating contract for the work. Denning implemented most of the suggestions. She said the process went well and she refers the service to other people trying to sell their home.
"It was more work than I anticipated but it has made a huge difference," said Denning.
Denning said now people don't say the house looks small. She also receives compliments on the rooms she finished.
This was Cindy and Ron Denning's master bedroom before changes were made. The Dennings removed a few pieces of furniture and changed their bedspread. They also removed the wallpaper border and painted the walls a warmer color.
Denning said she spent about $200 on paint for the updates.
Nelsen said the updates the Dennings made will make a huge difference in selling the home. She said the changes make the home look like it has more space.
Nelsen is confident the home will sell soon because of the changes. She said people who toured the home before will not be back because they bought other homes.
"Time is of the essence in today's real estate market," said Nelsen. "You only have one chance to make a good first impression."
JENNIFER STOCKINGER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5851.
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