On HGTV’s “Unsellable Houses,” twin sisters Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis make over properties that just won’t sell—and often, the reasons they’re sitting on the market aren’t as obvious as you might think.
In the Season 2 episode “Two-Bedroom Dilemma,” Lamb and Davis work on a house with zero personality. This Snohomish, WA, house is empty and unexciting, and has been languishing on the market for two months. While the owners, Brian and Diane, listed this house for a reasonable $440,000, Lamb and Davis are convinced that with $50,000 worth of upgrades, they’ll be able to sell this home for $510,000!
Read on to see which updates help sell this family house, and learn which looks buyers love—and hate.
A fridge shouldn’t be the first thing you see walking in the door
The kitchen in this house is huge, but it looks dated, bare, and unimpressive. Plus, it has a strange layout.
“This is nice and open,” Davis says, “but to be honest, I opened this front door and I immediately was, like … fridge.”
So Lamb and Davis update the kitchen by giving it a new layout that will impress buyers when they first step in the door.
“The overall design for the kitchen is really to go with something that is universal,” Lamb says. “Any buyer could walk in and feel like, ‘Wow, this is something I can relate to, something that I can connect with.’”
They bring in new cabinets and new counters, and add some bold color by installing a dark backsplash tile over the range. The style is warm and inviting, but it’s also neutral. It looks contemporary but still feels safe enough to appeal to the masses.
Add furniture to show buyers how to use the space
Lamb and Davis love this home’s open concept, but they know that wide-open spaces can be unattractive to buyers who don’t know how to use the space. A large living space can feel less like an asset and more like a nightmare.
“When you have an open concept like [Brian and Diane’s] home, it’s crucial that you stage the furniture in a way that it creates separate spaces,” Lamb says.
Lamb stages the large living space so that there are defined dining and living areas. Now, the house feels homier and buyers can imagine themselves in this large space. It’s an easy upgrade that doesn’t even require renovation!
Buyers hate seeing a plain old bath—so add a shower
In the master bath, Lamb and Davis find a large tub that seems to take up a lot of space.
These sisters know that most people would prefer a shower in the master bathroom, so they decide to switch out this tub with a large, elegant shower. With a mix of three tiles, some wood accents, and a new double vanity, this awkward bathroom has transformed into a relaxing spa-style suite.
“This was probably the biggest transformation in this house,” Davis says of the finished bathroom. “Even though there was that huge soaking tub, it was really not usable. What we wanted to give this main bathroom is a really high-end custom shower so that they felt like this wasn’t a letdown of a bathroom.”
Double doors can help let in light and show off the view
When Lamb and Davis see the home’s back deck, they’re impressed. It’s a perfect spot to hang out and can be a big selling point for buyers. However, the sisters point out that it’s difficult to get to the deck. The only way out there is through one small, unassuming door.
So Lamb and Davis decide to make this back door more of a feature by installing glass French doors with sheer curtains. The glass not only lets in light but also gives buyers a beautiful view outside.
Don’t forget to add furniture to your outdoor space
To finish this project, Lamb and Davis decide to dress up the deck to make it feel a little more comfortable. They stage a sitting space, hang some glass windows for a unique look, and add a potting station with a trellis.
Not only does this staging make the deck feel more comfortable, but it also gives buyers an idea of what to do with this space.
When the work is done, Lamb points out how much the space has transformed.
“When you came out here and this was empty, I felt like, what do I do? Now that it’s got some staging, you’ve got the potting station set up. We built the trellis with all of the little starter plants. I feel like we can very clearly say, this is how you can use this.”
When the home is finished, Lamb and Davis are able to relist the house for $510,000. This beautiful home ends up fetching a whopping six offers in the first two days, and the sisters even get an offer for $560,000. After spending $50,000 on the renovation, Lamb and Davis get an impressive profit of $70,000 to split 50-50 with Brian and Diane.
It’s a big profit for a beautiful house!
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