Why Model Home Merchandising and Decor Are Essential for Home Sales

August 18, 2020

Why Model Home Merchandising and Decor Are Essential for Home Sales

In the middle of a year filled with turmoil, buyers have concerns about the housing market—and yet they're looking into real estate at ground-breaking rates.

The housing market has seen quite a few ups and downs this summer. However, leading the pack of steady and climbing sales are master planned communities. 

If you are a new home builder in a master planned community, you rely quite a bit on your model homes to close the deal. Next to gorgeous, well-planned marketing materials, your model homes are one of the most important components of your sales pitch.

Model home merchandising can take your master-planned community to a new level and help you close sales left and right. Read on to find out why model home decor and merchandising should be one of your number one priorities.

Why Model Home Merchandising Is Important

Studies have found that visuals and aesthetics greatly impact a consumer's price sensitivity. In other words, if something looks incredible, consumers are less bothered by a higher price, which is a phenomenon that can come in handy for anyone in real estate.

Let's take a closer look at why model home merchandising can be the tactic your home building brand or master planned community needs to boost sales. 

Making a Great First Impression

At Milesbrand, it's our job to create a great first impression when it comes to your branding and marketing materials. But while great branding and effective marketing will attract potential buyers, deals are generally closed on-site.

For most potential buyers, the natural next step is to schedule a tour or attend your open house, and it's important that you wow them from the moment they see your properties.

We have a tendency to form first impressions within a matter of seconds. It may seem like a good idea to leave a model home empty and let your potential buyers fill in the gaps with their imagination. However, it's best to give them a little more to go off of so that right away, they're impressed with what they see.

Reaching a Targeted Buyer

Master planned communities are exactly that: planned. That means you've probably had certain kinds of buyers in mind from the beginning—whether it's a family of four, a young couple, or recent retirees. 

Since you know who your target buyer is and have built with them in mind, why not take it a step further? Consider the taste you imagine your targeted buyer to have. Consider the function they'll expect from their home and how you can make that come true with merchandising. 

For example, imagine your target buyer is a retired couple. Many retired couples have grandkids and will probably want to make sure that their home is comfortable for two but can easily make room for more! Show them how office spaces can double as guestrooms for the little ones and how living rooms are cozy enough for a quiet night but versatile enough for family gatherings. 

Offering More Than Mock-Ups

If your master planned community is still under construction, you're going to need model homes to do a lot of legwork for you. While it's helpful to provide mock-ups and 3D renderings of your future homes, it's better to pair those digital visions with something a little more palpable.

One thing to keep in mind is that when you're still under construction, potential buyers can still ask for modifications and upgrades to the home they purchase. You can use your model home to give some indication of the possibilities buyers can unlock by merchandising in a way that showcases areas that are available to modify. This will up the incentive for them to close the sale now while construction is still underway. 

Offering More Than Amenities

Amenities are immensely important in a master planned community. Whether you offer homeowners access to a state-of-the-art gym, swimming pool, or parks and trails, it's important to showcase these amenities to potential buyers. This gives them a sense of the lifestyle they can expect from living in your community.

However, remember that no matter how enticing your amenities are, your homeowners will spend the majority of their time at home. By merchandising model homes, you can create a seamless transition from inside the home to out in the community and back again. You can show potential buyers that your homes contribute just as much to their future lifestyle as the amenities do. 

Maximizing Spaces of All Sizes

Merchandising model homes is especially important if some of the floor plans are on the smaller side. It may seem counterintuitive to fill a small space with stuff in order to create a larger appearance, but bear with us.

Imagine walking into a 10x14 foot living room that has nothing in it. You're probably going to notice that it's a little on the small side and have a tough time visualizing all of your furniture fitting into it in a comfortable and cohesive way. 

Now imagine walking into a 10x14 square foot living room that has been thoughtfully designed to include ample seating without feeling over-crowded. This is going to spark a lot more confidence that this small space is versatile enough and big enough to suit your needs. 

How to Maximize Your Model Home Merchandising & Decor

You may not have as much experience with interior design as you do community planning and home construction. If that's the case, you have one of two options: hire a design firm or read up on how to master interior design.

Whatever you choose, we thought we'd give you a crash course on gorgeous model home decor ideas that look chic and inviting without venturing into your own subjective taste.


If you've been in the traditional real estate market game before, you know that it's advisable to return a home's walls to neutral colors before putting it on the market. Remember, however, that your model home isn't for sale. Its purpose is to show potential buyers how much promise and personality your future homes will have.

Select paint colors that will maximize each room of your model home. If any rooms are on the smaller side, consider using colors like light green, light blue, or light grey. Paint the trim and moldings a lighter color than the walls to create the optical illusion that the ceilings are higher and the walls are farther away.

If the lifestyle you're promising tenants is one of luxury and richness, consider reflecting that in your paint choices. Deep burgundies and navy blues suggest royalty and can make an interior feel more sophisticated. 


This may go without saying, but it's crucial that you stage each room with the decor and merchandise you purchase for your model home. Make sure that you're showcasing the possibilities and functions of each room, including spare rooms and small nooks and crannies.

You don't want to overwhelm your potential buyers with visuals, so don't pack your model homes with clutter. At the same time, make sure that empty space serves a purpose and doesn't come across like dead space. You don't want potential buyers to look at the construction choices you've made and wonder why you've created useless areas in your homes.


Natural lighting is one of the most sought-after features for any home buyer. If you've got it, flaunt it. Even if you incorporate curtains into your model home's design, make sure they're drawn back so that the sun can fill every square foot with light.

If you don't have a whole lot of light, don't sweat it. Try amplifying what does shine through with strategically placed mirrors. Supplement the lack of sunlight with attractive, non-fluorescent lighting that does a good job of mimicking sunlight.

Breathe Life Into Your Model Homes

It's a good feeling to see some nature in the interior of a home. Rather than covering bookshelves and mantles with knick-knacks galore, throw some houseplants into the mix.

In fact, you can use houseplants to play with the space and size of your model home. Using hanging planters to send vining plants cascading down from above to showcase (or amplify) high ceilings. Fill empty corners or hearths with tall, sturdy fiddle leaf figs and other potted trees and shrubs.

Houseplants are incredibly popular. Using them as decor in your model home can help potential buyers envision their dream of possessing a green thumb coming true in your community.

Let Your Model Homes Tell a Story

Don't just use your model homes to give potential buyers a sense of construction. Take advantage of sophisticated model home merchandising to bring your model homes to life. Let them do the talking and spark the imagination of every potential buyer you meet with.

Are you ready to guarantee that tons of potential buyers check out your newly decorated model homes? Milesbrand is here to make sure that happens. Contact us and let's chat about how we can help blow your competition out of the water.

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