How to Easily Stage your Front Door so Buyers feel Welcome

When it comes to selling your home, first impressions count. And they start even before potential buyers cross the threshold. “Curb appeal is a huge factor in home sales,” says Paige Hemmis, lifestyle design expert on Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family. “The front door area should feel like a big hug to visitors, as if to say, ‘Welcome to our beautiful home, where you can begin making memories,’” says Hemmis, a professional house stager. “If someone feels welcome before they walk in the door, you have their attention and are that much closer to a sale.” Try these staging strategies from Elliman Magazine‘s fall 2017 issue for your home’s front entrance to win over buyers—and anyone else who comes to visit.


Credit: Lisa Romerein/OTTO


Give the door’s exterior a fresh coat of paint or stain to brighten it, to update the color, and to create an attractive focal point.



Polish or replace door handles, locks, knockers, and other details so everything matches and looks brand new. Your house numbers should be neat and legible from the street in front of your house. If you have a doorbell, make sure it works.



If you have a landing, put a small bench against the house. If you have a large porch, arrange one or more groups of wicker or Adirondack-style chairs and small tables. Add a splash of fall color with a few outdoor pillows or by painting the bench red or gold, provided it fits the house’s style and color scheme.



Perk up the underfoot area on the porch or landing by scrubbing brick or stone surfaces and giving wood a fresh coat of paint or sealant.



Trim plants around the front door, throw out anything that blocks the windows, and keep holiday decorations understated. Keep rain boots and garden clogs in a closet, where they are out of sight.


Credit: David A. Land/OTTO


Lighting your home’s front entrance is vital in the fall and winter, when the days grow shorter and potential buyers may visit or drive by at dusk or after dark in many parts of the country. Replace outdated fixtures and use warm, white bulbs bright enough to illuminate the house numbers after dark (generally at least 60 watts).



Clean all the windows in your home before putting it on the market, and give extra care to those near your front door. Dress them from the inside with neatly hung drapes or blinds. Consider adding mullions or millwork details befitting the style of the house.



Flank the front door with a pair of oversized planters filled with greenery. Or place medium-sized pots of seasonal flowers like mums or marigolds for fall on the front steps.



Spruce up your front entrance with a new mat. Opt for neutral colors and understated designs (coir and sea grass mats are good bets), and avoid personalized touches like monograms and whimsical sayings. Mats should be at least as wide as the doorframe.


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