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5 Staging Tips to Make a Home Welcoming for an Open House


Buyers will want to put in an offer when you make them feel like they’re already at home.

Think of your next open house as if it’s opening night for your favorite movie. The stars would be walking the red carpet, dressed to impress, promoting the movie and creating excitement and buzz – that’s what staging does to your home when selling.

You want to put your home in the best light possible so you can grab buyers’ attention as soon as they walk through the door, and as they walk through the home, it reconfirms their thoughts that they have to have it. That feeling starts online with marketing, then at your front door and continues into your entryway, or the first room of the home they walk into, by creating a warm and welcoming feeling.

Let’s get you started on changing the potential buyers’ perceptions of your home and make them feel welcomed as they enter the space.

Buyer’s Eyes

Go through the home and examine each room as a buyer would. This helps you detach from the space and view your home as a product in order to help determine how your buyer wants to be greeted. In each room look in every nook, corner, high and low to determine a plan of action. Write down your findings and create a to-do list to start working on de-cluttering, repairs and enhancements.

First Impressions

Your home needs personality, consistency, and an energy that excites buyers. A small thing, like how you greet a buyer at the door, makes a significant difference in how they will respond to your home, so make sure it’s attention-grabbing and helps buyers feel comfortable. Here are some tips to generate a favorable impression among buyers upon arriving at your home:

  • Stay on top of your front landscaping – mow the lawn and trim bushes.
  • Power wash the home and sidewalks.
  • Add a welcome mat and potted plants around the doorway.
  • Paint your door and update the hardware on it.
  • Place a wreath or decorative arrangement on your door.
  • Remove all toys and figurines from the front yard.
  • Clean all windows.
  • Update lighting and house numbers; make sure they match.
  • Repair the roof and gutters and update exterior paint, if peeling.
  • Remove all the clutter – keep coats, shoes and other items organized in closets and shelves.
  • Remove any excess knickknacks or family photos.
  • Touch up or repaint the entryway.
  • Vacuum your floors daily. Have any carpeting steam cleaned.
  • Furniture shouldn’t be worn out or too big for the space.
  • Match the lifestyle – the more expensive your home is, the more expensive it needs to look.

Lighting Sets the Mood

An illuminated house instantly says, “Come on in.” Light can guide buyers through the home and set the mood. Easily change the tone of a room by adjusting the light level, so open all your blinds and curtains to let natural light in.

Make sure all your light bulbs work and have maximum wattage. Don’t only rely just on overhead lighting – use lamps, candles and light a fire (if the season’s right).

What’s that Smell?

We’ve all come across a home where you just wanted to hold your nose and run out the door screaming. Who can blame you – the sense of smell is the strongest of all the senses, especially when selling a home. The scents and odors in a home can connect or disconnect buyers to a house with just one sniff.

There is a reason why a home seller isn’t aware of the urine smell or last night’s dinner odor haunting the air – they’re immune to the odor in their home. Smells can come from pets, food, clothes or shoes, smoking, mold, appliances and air vents. When preparing a home for sale, it’s important to get rid of the sources of bad odor, rather than simply mask the scent.

[See: The 20 Most Desirable Places to Live in the U.S. ]

Strategic Accessorizing

Add some final touches strategically around the home, especially in the entryway. A table lamp, decorative box, flowers, artwork and a mirror are just some of the items that can create a statement when welcoming buyers into a home.

While everyone has their own style, a homeowner wants to present a simple, clean, and attractive home for the next owners. There’s a fine line between what should stay and what should go, because it all depends on the lifestyle you’re trying to create and the desires of the buyers in your area. Some accessories that always create a welcoming feel include books, blankets, pillows and candles. When choosing items to display make sure to choose items that have varying textures.

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Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the Chattanooga area.


Courteous and professional – kept us informed and encouraged – responded promptly to our questions/concerns in ways that gave immediate peace of mind – exceeded our expectations of $ received from sale of our home. Consistent positive attitude is what impressed us the most about Barry and Diane
Brent & Sandra Nicely