The owners of this newer Maple Grove home finished the basement so that it would compete favorably with other houses in the neighborhood that have unfinished basements.

And with a fireplace, built-in cabinets, recessed lighting, an abundance of natural lighting and new carpeting and paint, they definitely had the upper hand.

"The lower-level was gorgeous!" said Lori Matzke of "But vacant rooms seem smaller than they actually are, even when the vacant space is as nicely finished as this."

Here's what Matzke did to show buyers how to live in this space:

A patio table and other outdoor decor that was being stored in the room was moved to another area on the lower level.

A sectional that was too large and informal for a small main-level family room was brought downstairs and positioned so that buyers can easily enter the room, but still have a nice view of the fireplace. (Leaving the sectional in one piece adds enough bulk to the center of the room to downplay its long, narrow shape.)

A club chair was positioned at an angle in front of the fireplace to create another cozy seating area. The rustic, contrasting color of the upholstery draws attention directly to the fireplace and its texture softens the leather sofa and slate firebox surround.

A few books and accessories were used to draw attention to the bookcase, but several shelves were left open to suggest that the room has an abundance of available space.

A decorative mirror, which reflects light into the room, and faux green grasses add color and draw attention to the mantel.