house fluffer
(HOWS fluf.ur) n. A decorator who recommends improvements and renovations designed to maximize a house's sale price.
house fluffing pp.

Example Citation:
As a house fluffer, Carroll consults with sellers and suggests improvements that can boost both the home's attractiveness and its value.

She sees opportunities for beauty in the simplest actions.

"This is my biggest tip: Remove the ugly aluminum screen doors," Carroll said. "I can't tell you the number of people who have gorgeous wooden doors" and cover them up.
—Jennifer Quinn, "How to improve your curb appeal," The Toronto Star, June 20, 2002

Earliest Citation:
Before putting their home on the market, David and Barbara Crossen knew the 3-story 1930s town house had the makings of a hot property.

With its unusual architectural detailing, hardwood floors, garden and prestigious address, the house was the epitome of San Francisco style. Except for a few minor matters: dog hairs, mismatched furniture and an overall interior design that David Crossen describes as "ex-college student. "

Enter Arthur McGlaughlin, a member of a little-known but growing breed of professionals paid to enhance a home's marketability. They are the "fluffers," interior decorators who not only fluff the sofa pillows but also point out lapses in taste and cleanliness that could impede a sale.
—Eileen Daspin, "A house 'fluffer' can help you fake good taste, and raise sale price," The Wall Street Journal, November 10, 1998

The fluffer part of today's job title comes from the idea of fluffing a pillow or cushion to make it look fresh and neat. So in general a "fluffer" would be a person who makes things neat and tidy. And, indeed, the London Underground has employed fluffers since at least the 1950s. These women (they're almost always women) walk the tracks in the early morning hours, sweeping debris from the rails as they go.

House fluffers are a much newer breed who take the fluffed-up pillow idea and extend it to the entire house. They're also known as stagers and resale decorators.

Here's an even earlier citation that uses "house fluffer" to refer to the house owners themselves, not the decorators they hire:

Dana and Eddie Klest bought a house in Ormewood Park in southeast Atlanta anticipating they would live in the house a few years, make cosmetic repairs and then put it up for a quick resale.

Instead, they've spent more than eight years and nearly twice the purchase price renovating their house on Woodland Avenue from the inside out, and they have no plans of moving.

Dana Klest says she knew they were in for the long haul when they bought a $ 125 Japanese maple tree for the back yard. By then they'd decided they weren't house "fluffers," people who coat a house with trendy shades of paint for resale at a tidy profit.
—Judy Hotchkiss, "Renovators ready to just relax," The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, October 5, 1995

Related Words: