Behold The Power Of The Foyer

Curb appeal is important - even critical. But, what does it take to make a stellar impression on your potential buyers from the moment they walk through the front door?

The secret to getting more competing offers and a higher sales price is nailing the first impression: how the buyer feels as soon as they step across the threshold. 

Behold the power of the foyer.

Here is how to stage this important space to get top dollar for your listing.

1. Widen the entrance.

Fall is coming. The holidays will be here, perhaps a bit too soon for some of us. What that means: your seller may have hung a tasteful, festive wreath on the front door.

Take. It. Down.

A wreath narrows the doorway, typically by about 6 - 8 inches. You don't want your potential buyers to feel crowded as they step into the home.

2. Toss the rugs.

Throw out the old welcome mat. You'll need two brand-new mats, either 2 x 3 feet or 3 x 4 feet, one for right outside the front door, one for immediately inside the front door. You don't want a potential buyer to be turned off by a worn welcome mat. And, you want to encourage all who enter to wipe their feet - particularly in inclement weather - so that they don't track mud, dirt, or droplets of rain through your lovely listing. 

It's common to have a beautiful area rug in the foyer. It's also one of the first items a professional stager will remove to make the home look more spacious. Removing the rug opens up the flow of the floor and will help create a clear, open path from the foyer into the next rooms.

3. Open it up.

I've walked into too many listings where there are so many items packed into the foyer that it feels difficult to move. If space allows, it may work to place a decorative table or narrow side piece with a basket to show purpose: here is where you can drop your keys or the mail. A decorative mirror or a piece of art will dress up almost any foyer.

But, clear out the extras: anything that's taking up additional floor space. Anything that's crowding the door. Anything that a buyer might bump into. Most important here is to create a feeling of spaciousness.  

4. Raise the ceiling.

Perhaps your listing boasts a gorgeous antique chandelier or another statement light fixture. That may be okay, as long as you have a two-story foyer or one with at least a ten-foot ceiling. However, a good stager is likely to change out the piece so that she can focus potential buyers' attention on the beautiful architectural features in the next room.

Low-hanging fixtures give the appearance of a lower ceiling. Flush-mounted light fixtures are a must in a foyer with a seven- or eight-foot ceiling. Remember that you will have potential buyers who are over six feet tall. You don't want them to bump their heads (yes, I've seen this happen!).

5. Keep the color consistent.

When your potential buyers enter the home, depending on the layout, they'll look straight ahead and to the right, straight ahead and to the left, or straight ahead and then to the right and left. A consistent color palette gives a unified look to the interior and helps create the impression of more space and good flow. A consistent color palette is pleasing to the eye and creates yet another good impression.

It's common for sellers to have painted the walls to suit their personal tastes and to have painted or papered rooms in a number of different colors. I've seen a lovely light foyer opening into a wonderfully bright living space, only to look left and be startled by a dark burgundy den. Keep the view light and appealing with a consistent color palette. 

6. Step into the light.

It's easy to forget that most foyers are enclosed. A foyer typically doesn't have many windows, and any windows are usually narrow. The foyer, by its very nature, is likely to be less bright.

First, make sure the foyer is as well lit as possible. Then, be sure that the next room your buyers will step into is even lighter. The next room should give the immediate impression of a light-filled, bright space. Turn on all of the lights. Open all blinds or curtains - or remove them entirely. Ensure a light, neutral color palette. This will give your buyers the impression of even more space.

Buyers pay more for homes that appear larger and more spacious. Help more of those buyers fall in love with your listing by carefully staging the foyer. It's a surprisingly powerful space.

If you're interested in speaking more or would like help with an upcoming listing, just call or email.