The entryway (or foyer or entrance hall, depending on what part of the country you’re from) is literally the first impression buyers will have of the interior of your home — knowing how to stage entryway is the first step in helping buyers establish a particular feeling about your house. As with all first impressions, buyers will form an opinion about your house within a matter of seconds — either positive or negative — that they will try to further support as they view the rest of your home. If that first impression is a good one, they tend to look for attributes throughout the home tour that will support those initial feelings.
So what’s the best way to stage the entryway when selling your home?
Be objective. This can be hard to do on your own so you may want to enlist the help of a friend, real estate agent, or (ahem…) a professional home stager. Take a hard look at your entryway. Is it inviting and easily accessible? Are you tripping over shoes and looking at a tangle of keys and dog leashes hanging on the wall? Do you need to create an entryway?
Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Do you have a soaring ceiling or beautiful hardwood floors? How about a crack in the tile or an outdated light fixture? Identify the pros and cons of this space. What are some ways you can help emphasize your positive features to make them stand out and downplay your negatives?
Simplify and reduce. This area should be almost completely devoid of any untidiness. When in doubt, get rid of it.
- Remove coat racks, shoe racks, key holders, leashes, etc. — basically any piece of furniture or decor designed to collect and organize the clutter of daily living.
- Remove rugs and mats, at least for MLS photos and showings. They are a visual distraction and break up the floor space, making it look smaller. The exception: if you’ve got really awful or damaged floors and need a distraction.
- Remove any items that allow the buyer to profile who lives there (i.e., religious icons, family photos, etc.) They create a distraction for buyers.
- Replace or update old lighting and door hardware. Again, simply spray painting them will sometimes do the trick (this won’t work for all homes). We like the color “Oil-Rubbed Bronze” by Rustoleum.
Create a marketing “hook.” Use a few props and decor to connect with your buyers on an emotional level by staging a space that says life would be “just right” if they bought this house — clean, welcoming, uncluttered, organized.
- Create a welcoming spot for buyers to envision walking in from a long day at work and having just the right spot to set down their keys and mail. Use a simple, low profile table with a large piece of art or a mirror over it to reflect light. Add a lamp for warmth.
- A potted plant or a beautiful, fragrant bouquet of flowers smooths the transition for buyers by bringing the outdoors in. **Maintaining a fresh/living flower arrangement is hard for most sellers when their home is on the market, and it’s practically impossible to do in a vacant house. Instead, invest is beautiful realistic-looking faux plants.**
We love helping home sellers work with what they have to transform their entryways (and the rest of their home!) into a space where home buyers fall in love. If you’re getting ready to put your home on the market, contact Three Bears Home Staging to schedule your Walk & Talk Consultation or an Online Home Staging Consultation! And to learn more about DIY staging for entryways and other areas of your home, you can also check out our new book, Just Right! DIY Home Staging, now available on Amazon and iBooks!