Fischer: A home’s front door makes the ultimate first impression
Five years ago, my happily single self accepted the challenge of a friend and painted my front door, after which I opened it and walked out of it. Less than one week later, I met the person who would become my soul mate. Sappy, illogical and corny, but true. The front door is significant. It is the entrance to a person’s domain. It is the initial focal point of first impressions, either welcoming hospitality or hostility. The door also serves as a barrier symbolizing protection and safety from the outer world. Opening this door can be risky, but it is the only way to welcome outside opportunities.
From a Realtor’s perspective, every home holds a unique story, even outside of the people who inhabit it. This being the case, the introduction to the story is the front door. The door tees up the expectation of what is inside.
Although not the door I once painted, anyone appearing on our doorstep will be greeted through large double, old world, castle-like doors with a metal-grated, “eye level” speakeasy on each side, should someone want to open it and peep through before allowing entrance. The only problem with this is that “eye level” was essentially set for Jack’s beanstalk giant, since I am unable to “peep” through this hole without the aid of an extended ladder. I would grow my own beanstalk but have yet to locate my green thumb. Either way, it doesn’t seem to be a deterrent to solicitors, despite our snarky “no soliciting. Seriously. Don’t knock. Don’t make it weird” sign.
If the front door is really the overture to the home, it is an advisable area of focus for someone thinking of selling. It literally sets the tone for the entire showing. If a buyer approaches the front door with a sense of hope and encouragement, they are likely to feel more positive about the entire showing experience pertaining to that particular home. As a seller, this is what you want. There have been many a conversation I have personally had with buyers at a front door, before even entering the home, about the perceived expectation of the home based on the front door. Generally, a buyer will stand on the front porch gazing at the area in question while waiting for their Realtor to access the key in the key box. Although only seconds pass during that time, general assessments are made quickly.
A front door should be clean, free from squeaks, cobwebs and dust. The doorway should be well-lit and spider-free as well (this from ample experience with said arachnids). While a fresh coat of paint can enhance the front door appeal, the choice of color should be made deliberately and should not be the clearance color at Home Depot.
In fact, historically, the color of a front door holds meaning and makes a statement about what or who can be found inside. The color red, for example, has long been associated with hospitality. Back in Colonial times, a red front door meant travelers were welcome inside. This color is also a symbol of safety.
Most popular, however, as well as most traditional is the color black. Elegant and classic, the expectation would be of a more formal interior. Orange, on the other hand, may state “refreshingly fun,” or bold and gregarious, as does yellow. Both of these colors should, however, be used with caution.
Blue can be relaxed and beachy or, if a deep or dark blue, can mean more well-ordered and conservative. While a white door is safe, the natural wood look connotes more down-to-earth and practical types.
For my front door, five years ago, I chose a bold green. It was just today that I learned what the color symbolizes … fearless adventure. Fitting.
Jen Fischer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at 801-645-2134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.