A potential client’s first impression of a home stays with them. Knowing how to go beyond the basics of neutral wall colors, removing personal items and getting rid of clutter will set your property apart from the rest – and that is key in today’s market.
This is the second in AHRN.com’s two part series empowering you to make maximum use of the five senses to stage a home in ways you might not have thought of before. Read Part One here on AHRN.com, where we covered touch, scent and sound.
Don’t give your potential buyers any reasons to bargain down – if you can see problems so can they! Make sure you do all the little repairs so doors close, there’s no chipped or peeling paint and nail holes are invisible. Consider how each sector of a home might appeal to a client’s feelings – what they’d want if they were living here. Yes, feelings, as that’s what makes them walk in and say “aaah yes!”
- Both the outdoor areas and the entry way should be neat, inviting, and charming (see tips for outdoors below).
- Bedrooms should feel cozy and serene.
- Bathrooms should be neat, fresh and clean.
- Kitchens that are modern, airy, light, and spotless with visible counter space are most appealing.
- Living rooms should look as spacious as possible, but also have a defined gathering area for family/relaxation.
It’s a given that you should return wall colors and patterns to neutral colors. After all, buyers and renters look for the same things you do – that the house is ready to move into as is. Not sure what colors to choose? Check out this fabulous article on choosing paint colors from the Creativity Exchange.
Add brighter bulbs in every room, especially in smaller rooms or rooms with little light from the window. This can make all the difference on cloudy days.
Clean finger prints off every light switch and door handle on both sides of doors plus kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Consider painting them if they are dull. Putting on new handles costs very little and can be trans-formative. Organize what is inside every closet, drawer and shelf – they will be opened! Better still, create the impression of more space by removing half the contents to store for showings if you can.
A new shower curtain and bathmat (or have no bath mat if the floor is a highlight) make the bathroom feel brighter and more welcoming. All garbage cans should be new, completely clean and empty (or hide them altogether).
Kitchens are the place for maximizing taste. Often, you influence this sense via scent, using what was suggested in Part One of this series. If you have gone to the point of baking those cookies or something like cinnamon bread to create a homey scent, by all means, offer samples to those walking through! Make it easy by having small paper plates and napkins. Once a client is finished, offer to take them off their hands so they don’t walk around the rest of the place holding them.
Set the bar area or a counter with sparkling water, lemon or orange wedges, attractive glasses (no plastic or paper cups), a decorative decanter or pitcher on a tray, and cocktail napkins. They can imagine themselves serving with their own guests. You can also do this on the dining table, offering coffee and tea, perhaps with what you baked.
BONUS: THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Talk about first impressions… how the home looks as your client drives up is critical! They will also want to see the garage or tool shed if there is one – and that needs to be staged too. To cover the basics, review AHRN.com’s post 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal and 5 Tips for Organizing Your Garage.
Keeping sound from coming into your home is usually only part of the solution. Many people want to enjoy a traffic noise-free backyard. This can be a little more complicated but not impossible.
Is there a barrier wall that blocks sound? Is it in good shape or does it need to be scrubbed? Can you hang ivy or floral baskets to make it appealing as it blocks out sounds and neighborhood sights?
If there are large bushes, it may function to block bad views but do nothing for sound. What to do? Add a water feature more substantial than a trickle. Place them strategically, as they only block the sound where they’re located. You could also utilize an outdoor sound sound system (as easy as bringing a good quality waterproof blue tooth speaker, like Bose). Be sure to test it all well before you show any clients to be sure it covers sound adequately. Play samba or low jazz music during the showing at a volume high enough to cover sounds but low enough so you can easily talk to your client.
Property managers, owners and landlords looking to rent or sell a home can go the extra mile by utilizing these tips to make all the difference, whether your goal is getting the price you want or securing a great tenant without losing a day of rent!
Do you have any tips you have learned to maximize the senses when staging a home? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!
Meet Your Contributor:
Rochelle Joseph is a Writer and Image and Marketing Consultant who has had experience marketing, renting, buying and selling her properties for over 20 years. She has written and edited for several publications, including the Boston Book Review, The Emerson Review, ZooBorns.com, WildLife Magazine, the Houston Zoo, The Wildlife Center of Texas, One Spirit Interfaith Seminary as well as AHRN.com. She currently writes at her great gifts blog at https://lookyhereu.blogspot.com and her animal blog at https://naturegirrrl.blogspot.com