That Makes Sense
One of my most common questions from Sellers is how to make their house most appealing for potential buyers. If you follow your nose, and your other senses, the answer is quite easy. Here are some ideas on how the five senses can help you sell your house.
The first thing potential buyers will notice is the curb appeal. Make sure the lawn is mowed, weeds are pulled and flowers are not dead. The front door area should be swept and the door and handle clean. When entering, they should immediately notice the house is neat and clean. Don’t have the breakfast dishes in the sink or beds unmade. A dirty or messy house can be very distracting to a potential buyer. It’s a good idea to have the house staged – at least making sure that personal items are down to a minimum, there is a good flow without furniture impeding, and that there are appealing colors throughout the house.
I have found that soft jazz or light classical or instrumental music is best for this sense. You will never appeal to everyone but these two are the most widely accepted – even getting lost in the background at times. There are a lot of options in how to play music. Some people have speakers in their house. Others have cable or digital television channels that play music. This is much more welcoming than a quiet, cold house. If you are able to leave it playing every day when you leave for the day, that is ideal – and it’s nice to come home to, as well!
I like to make a home book for sellers. This book may have photos from another season (when flowers were blooming or when snow was covering the ground), Before/After photos of renovations or home projects, property information, utility information, flyers for buyers to take, business cards or contact information for vendors, HOA documents, etc. This can often keep a potential buyer in the house longer, keeping them engaged, giving their other four senses a chance to work!
There is good reason that this is the most powerful of our senses. Just as much as there are good smells that can help, there are definitely some smells that can hurt the sale of your house. Let’s talk about the bad first. If there is a foul smell of any sort, it can be detrimental. A good idea is to have a third party give you an honest answer. You may have pets and you may be used to it. You may cook certain foods regularly that stay in the house for a while. This is one thing that a Realtor can help you with and give an honest opinion. There are solutions for odors and it’s very important to address them.
Now, on the other hand, good smells can help people feel good about a house immediately. One of the best things is fresh baked bread or cookies. I sometimes suggest Sellers get some ready-bake cookies to put in the oven before showings if they are able. Be careful with candles or room sprays as some can be overpowering and some people are allergic to certain types. I have seen a lot of aromatherapy diffusers lately and those can be good with a very light, fresh scent.
If you are able to bake those cookies or bread before a showing or an open house, leave them out for visitors. If you can get them to feel comfortable enough to eat something in your house, they will begin imagining it as home. The Realtor will thank you, too!
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur babies, Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.