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Street Appeal In Seven Seconds

First Impressions: Street Appeal In Seven Seconds



As a home seller you only have seven seconds to make a great first impression on your buyers. Here we explain how knowing the three entry points can help buyers move through those precious seven seconds to a successful sale. 

There are three vital, but often overlooked, entry points when you are presenting your home for sale. Each is equally important and has a unique purpose in helping buyers to decide if your home is ‘the one’ for them. Your home's entrance needs to be presented for maximum impact on buyer behaviour.

Behavioural Change From Street to Home

In the timeless series, ‘A Pattern Language’, Christopher Alexander describes how the experience of entering a building influences the way you feel once inside it. The gentler the transition between the home and the street, the more the inside of the home will feel like a safe ‘inner sanctum’.

You just have to look at your children, or those of others, to know that street behaviour and home behaviour can be vastly different. As adults, we naturally look forward to the transition from the more guarded ‘street’ mood into an intimate and relaxed ‘home’ mood. If you think of ‘street’ as distance and ‘home’ as intimate, you start to get the picture.

Of course, the perfect transition from the street to front entry is not always achievable, but you can soften the journey for prospective home buyers by understanding the stages of the transition.

The Gentle Transition

As a home seller, you are trying to achieve as gentle a transition as possible from street (distance) to interior (intimate) mode for your home buyers as you invite them into what you hope will be their new home.

The ideal transition moves through three entry points:

  • First Entry Point – Your buyer’s first glimpse is viewing the home through ‘street’ eyes as they approach by car.
  • Second Entry Point – As the buyer steps onto the property from street level and moves toward the front door, their street mood softens.
  • Third Entry Point – That private moment, as the buyer approaches the front door where they can no longer be seen from the street, completes the transition.

The reality is that this stunning art deco home is on a major arterial road near an international airport. It is noisy 24/7.  The architects of this 1920’s stunner obviously understood the psychological importance of the three entry points.

The Importance of the Transition

Why is the transition so important to buyers?

Studies show that a front garden or courtyard gives homeowners a sense of comfort and privacy.  This may explain why householders appreciate their front garden whilst rarely spending time there.  It reassures them of their privacy.  The three critical entry points reinforce the move from the public domain to private space.

By the time he or she has entered the front door, you want your buyer to be relaxed enough to connect immediately with your home for sale.

Brisbane architect Jan Hogarth agrees.

“Entering a home is a journey into a private world,” she said.

“When a place feels inviting and welcoming, it has this pattern of three entrances to change the scale with colour; texture; height; change of direction; and focus. It slows the pace of your steps and creates a moment before you arrive at the door.”

“Architects use it all the time,” said Jan, a classic home renovation architect forever 20 years and Director of Placemate Architects.

A Warm Welcome in Seconds

The actual physical transition can be made in many combinations, and the benefits of each are far more complex than this brief list can convey.  The transitions can include:

  1. Change of enclosure, i.e. gateway or fence
  2. Changing the light, i.e. sensor light
  3. Introducing new sounds, i.e. doorbell or knocker
  4. Changing the direction of the path, i.e. a curve or corner
  5. Change of ground surface, i.e. from concrete to lawn or pavers
  6. Change of level, i.e. step up or down, and
  7. Most of all, with a glimpse of life – a garden or view

It seems harder to create an attractive transition when your front door opens onto the street.  The change can be abrupt without allowing time for buyers to transition from street to home mode, but it can be done…

While it lacks the elegance of the perfect transition, A home's entry door can successfully move us from streetscape to home mode in seconds.  

The stages of the transition look like this:

  • First Entry Point – As your buyer glimpses the front door from the street.
  • Second Entry Point – As the buyer steps from street level onto the front step, a change of mood is apparent.
  • Third Entry Point – That private moment as the front door opens and the buyer glimpses both the interior and exterior from a unique perspective.

A front entry door can cleverly deliver colour, light, life, a change of level and texture to quickly create a successful transition.  Here’s how:


Red is a fast transition colour. In many cultures, the red door symbolises protection, positive energy and abundance.


Reflective glass in the front door captures light from the street and reflects it back to the viewer.  It also creates space and suggests hidden depths within.


Plants and trellises are feel-good features that break up the harshness of the wall and spell ‘Welcome’.


A simple step up and you’ve ‘arrived’ at the front door.  As you wait for the door to open, you no longer feel the discomfort of being at street level, you are safely in a transition space.


A doormat, be it funky or simple, changes the texture of the ground area as you leave the street and enter the home.

The psychological impact of how we arrive and leave a house is a significant factor in our lives.  A safe transition from street to home influences our psychological and general wellbeing, and that of our family, on a daily basis.

For the house proud home seller, a successful transition will invite potential buyers into your home for sale and impact how they feel once inside.  To the home buyer, it hints at the potential for privacy and safety within the walls of the home.

The three entry points signal the crucial moments of the first and last impression of your home.  For selling success, be thoughtful in the presentation of the main entry and exit points of your on-the-market property.

Tracey McLeod, Presentation Sells

Our thanks to:

Photography by Light Art Media

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