Selling? Tips to try from model-home designers

When Patrick Planeta of Boston-based Planeta Design Group designs a model unit in a newly built residential property, he knows how to focus attention on the features the developer wants to shine and minimize potential stumbling blocks. “I find that a well-done design should feel like a great party . . . all the details have been carefully considered,” said Planeta, who recently completed three model apartments at Watermark Seaport. “Though not immediately recognized at the time, it is vivid in your mind for days.” While model units function as practical tools to showcase finish options and offer suggestions for furniture layouts (“Everyone wants an open concept, but when they stand in the empty space they are overwhelmed,” said Ken Smith of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty in the South End), they also sell a lifestyle. At Newport Beach Club, an oceanfront community in Portsmouth, R.I., the Radiance Beach House model evokes a luxury vacation atmosphere. It should. They spent $250,000 outfitting it.

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