Updated: Sep 22
Imagine you’re walking into a restaurant to meet someone for a first date. In the few seconds it takes for you to say hello and sit down, your date has already formed their first impression of you. Without either of you realizing it, they’ve taken inventory of your clothing, shoes, smile, hair, the sound of your voice, and your smell. These details provide clues to who you are. Are you friendly? Responsible? Fun? Lazy? Rude?
Staging a home for a listing is like getting ready for a first date. The mission is to make the best first impression possible, and you only have a few seconds to do it. When prepping for a date, you put your best foot forward to help your date focus on your positive attributes. Likewise, to sell a home, Stagers have to think about what they want potential buyers to notice, and plan accordingly.
I tell my team to Stage like they are getting ready for a first date...
1. Get Clean
If you’re prepping for a date, it’s a no brainer that you take a shower, brush your teeth, wear deodorant, and maybe a small spritz of your lightest scent. You wouldn't show up with day 5 greasy hair or smudged mascara from a long run at the gym.
The same should go for Staging a home – vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning windows goes a long way. Pet hair, finger-printed appliances, and dirty windows are all unpleasant distractions for homebuyers.
Additionally, Scents are important in Home Staging. Subtle scents are okay, but you don’t want to bathe yourself in an overpowering cheap perfume that gives your date a headache. So, avoid overpowering plug-ins and opt for a subtle oil diffuser instead.
2. Paint Your Nails
Freshly painted nails are a classic way to give off the impression that you have your sh*t together (even if you don’t). They show the world that you take care of yourself and are willing to put in a little extra effort.
Being polished is equally as important when Staging a house. Stagers often give the front door of a listing a fresh coat of paint. Why? Opening the front door is like meeting someone and shaking hands. The door is the first thing a buyer touches and sees when arriving at a listing, and just like freshly painted nails, a freshly coated front door signifies quality and that the home was taken care of.
3. Put on a Flattering Outfit
Everyone has clothes that make them feel their best. Whether it be pants that elongate your legs, a dress that covers your insecurities, or a top that compliments your eyes, you have your go-to items for good first impressions. The shapes, colors, and textures can transform your appearance – for better or for worse.
Like picking out new clothes for a date, Stagers pick out new bed linens, throw pillows, and towels to enhance the look and feel of a home. Throw pillows should complement the style of the home, which varies job to job. For bedding and towels, Stagers often choose white for a clean look. Hotels use a similar technique, choosing plain white over colors or patterns. No one wants to think about sharing towels or sheets with strangers, so hotels choose white to give an illusion of a blank slate. Similarly, you want the buyer to see the home as a blank slate and a clean place to bring their families.
4. Accessorize Wisely
For most people, one of the last steps before heading out the door is to accessorize. This is where you can show the world, and your date, a little bit of your personality. But the trick here is to accessorize with caution. While your flamingo earrings are fabulous and quirky, they may steal the show, distracting from your personality.
When Staging a home for listing, it is important to use accessories wisely. Shiny-object syndrome can distract a buyer from what they came for in the first place – the home. You don’t want them only remembering the leg lamp in the window. Instead, you want them to remember the open floor plan, big windows, and the updated kitchen. To do this, you have to draw their eye where you want it to go with carefully chosen accessories that don’t distract from the home’s best assets.
While everyone’s first date routine may look a little different, the same concept applies: PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD. Looking to sell a home? Call our team and we’ll get you “first-date-ready!”