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Appeal to the Buyers’ Senses

Staging your home can make a significant impact on your bottom line. In fact, some studies have shown that staged homes sell for as much as 10% more than un-staged homes. The best results of staging are found when you are able to make the home appeal to almost all of the senses – sight, smell, touch and sound, so consider all the senses when staging your home to attract buyers.

Sight. The majority of home buyers search for homes on the internet prior to deciding which homes to view in person. By improving the visual appeal of your home, its pictures will stand out to buyers and leave them interested in scheduling a showing. In addition, when buyers come through your home, they will remember its cleanliness and will be able to use your furniture layout to visualize the placement of their furniture. This tends to be a very important part in the process of choosing a new home. Here are some suggestions on how to improve the looks of your home:

  • Arrange furniture so that doors and windows are not blocked, and so that a potential buyer can tell just where to place a television.
  • Purchase inexpensive pillows and blankets that match the color scheme for each room.
  • Leave bookshelves “mostly” empty, with a few books or accent pieces on each shelf.
  • Replace outdated light fixtures and old bathroom and kitchen faucets.
  • Paint rooms a neutral shade. Paint rooms with marks or holes, and rooms that are worn or faded first.
  • Update oddly colored bathrooms by re-glazing or refinishing the tile.
  • Have wall to wall carpeting and draperies cleaned or replaced, if necessary.
  • Place toys from children’s rooms out of sight in chests or under the bed. Don’t stuff toys in the closet!

Smell. The sense of smell is the most prominent sense for memory retention. For this reason, you will want to make sure that your home smells its absolute best when potential buyers are touring it. If you are wondering how to make your home smell better, try some of these tips:

  • Clean the house from top to bottom so that the house smells clean wherever you are inside.
  • Bake cookies, brownies, or cinnamon rolls before your home is toured. Nothing says “Home Sweet Home” like the smell of freshly baked treats!
  • Put a scent sheet on your furnace filter. You can find them at Home Depot or Lowes. Hang from your furnace filter so that whenever the furnace or A/C turns on, it blows a fresh scent throughout your home.
  • Place a dehumidifier in the basement (especially if the basement smells musty).
  • Strategically place deodorizers in problem areas such as where your garbage or a litter box is kept.
  • Remember to take out the trash before showings!

Sound. There is some debate as to how much sound affects a potential buyer’s choice to purchase a home. If a built-in sound system is being sold with the house, it may be useful to highlight the system by having some soft music playing. Here are some other ways to improve the sound of your home:

  • Repair or replace rattling ductwork.
  • Lubricate squeaky doors and hinges.
  • If you’re on a busy road or in a noisy area, make sure your windows can close properly to help lessen the noise.
  • Make sure all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, alarm systems etc. have new batteries and will not be beeping during the showing.
  • Try to avoid running laundry equipment, dishwashers, etc., while potential buyers are walking through your home.

Touch. Making your home feel good can push potential buyers to write an offer on it. In many cases, the easiest way to do this is by making sure that the whole house is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This is especially true of second and third floor living spaces, which have a tendency to be warm in the summer and cool in the winter. Try some of these ideas to make your home feel better to the potential buyers:

  • Check the weather seals on doors and windows to prevent drafts.
  • Provide shades or blinds to keep the sun from heating a room during the day, but open the blinds for showings so that light can fill the room.
  • In the summer, if a room tends to get too warm, turn on a fan or window air conditioner.
  • In the winter, for rooms that are on the cooler side, provide a space heater to keep the temperature cozy.
  • Add insulation to attic and crawl spaces.
  • Set the thermostat to a reasonable temperature for the season; a little cooler in the spring and summer, a little warmer in the fall and winter.
  • If you have pets, try to keep the room – and particularly the corners – clean of pet hair to avoid potential buyers having an allergic reaction.