As the old adage goes, there is only one first impression.

So why not make it the best it can be when you are listing a home for sale?

• Showcase the home
• Set the tone
• WOW them to contract

After staging hundreds of luxury homes every year, we have learned that the first room any home buyer prospect sees and experiences is the entry. Whether it’s a small nook or a grand space, this part of the home sets the tone for the entire house.

before

after

We recently staged this home in Dunedin (above photos) that is now under contract. The home is situated on a gorgeous golf course, has a pool, and a lot of other appealing features. But, it also needed a good bit of updating.

Before staging happened, the feedback the Realtor was getting from lookers was “this home is a major project”. Additionally, the empty rooms gave off a cold feeling and the focus was on things that needed to be done to the home, not the value and opportunity of this real estate.

Once staging was complete, prospects could see all the possibilities and that the improvements could be easily managed while still living in the home.

Before staging, the original entry setting had two very traditional sconces and nothing else but a large vent. When we staged the home, we removed the old lighting fixtures and installed a large piece of art, a console, and some on-trend accessories. It was a game-changer. This home went from looking like a stressful project, to a charming place with a lot of doable potential.

Larger, luxury homes often have a very spacious entry area.

before

after

When we staged this $4M+ modern listing in South Tampa, we installed 3 unique furnishing pockets: A bench, two chairs, and a cocktail table, as well as a rug and a piece of art over a wooden console. All of these aspects welcomed prospects and set the style for this eclectic and rustic dream home. This property is under contract.

A strong entry statement can distract from needed home improvements.

before

after

This waterfront mid-century home in Belleair underwent many improvements. We painted, made repairs, updated lighting, and replaced the carpet. But redoing the parquet floors did not make the “improvement plan”. That decision made the entryway look even more important to the home selling presentation strategy. Large art, light area rug, brighter light bulbs, and installing organic accessories created a fresh, updated home style. This listing is sold.

In closing, here are a few considerations that can help create the best first impression possible from your entryway.

• If any hardware is old, can it be polished and touched up?
• Is the welcome mat old and ratty, or does it reflect the home’s interior style?
• If there is room for a console, can you add a key drop element, dish, or box?
• If you install art or a mirror, they should be installed at eye level.
• If there are cords, vents, or other unattractive items showing, consider a small plant, basket, or pouf to distract from the eyesore.
• Check your lighting for bulb brightness and that the switch works.

Karen Post: Founder of Home Frosting