Karla Painter, Realtor®
June 20, 2023
Sight. Smell. Taste. Sound. Touch. The five senses are incredibly important when making a first impression on a home. It is easy to feel comfortable in your own space as you live there daily, but when preparing your home for a showing, it is necessary to step into the shoes of potential buyers. What is your home telling them when they first walk in?
The first thing to consider is sight. Remember, buyers are picturing themselves in this space. Does it feel cluttered or comfortable? Sterile or homey? Prior to showings, I typically recommend sellers meet with a stager and tidy the space. Here is a short checklist:
- Lawn is mowed and tidy
- Clothing and shoes are stored away
- Windows are clean
- Floors are vacuumed and/or mopped
- Surfaces are organized and dust-free
- Personal items are stored out of sight
- Devices are turned off
- Valuables are locked away
- Dishes are clean and put away
- Sinks are clean
- Kitchen appliances are clean
- Garbage is taken out
- Beds are made
- Closets are tidy
- Put cleaning products away
- Turn on lights
- Open doors to rooms
The other thing to consider is your own privacy. If there are any pictures or items that you don’t want to be seen, store them away during showings.
Smell / Taste
There is not much to taste during showings, but smell certainly is a factor! When people enter a space, smell can play a large role in first impressions. If the space smells fresh and welcoming, even like yummy food, it can feel more like home than a space that is musty or smells like pets and harsh cleaning chemicals. It might be hard to tell if your bedroom smells like the family dog if you sleep with them every night, so spend some time outside in fresh air before going back in to take a big breath.
Remember, there is a difference between clean and overbearing. Avoid intense smells from candles, incense, wax melters, freshening sprays, or other perfume-y scents.
Here is where taste comes into play – it’s hard to make a positive first impression when the smell of bleach is so strong you can almost taste it. Clean a few hours prior to showings and leave the fans on to let the smell dissipate.
Be aware of the sounds in your house prior to showings. Does the box fan in your room make a clicking sound? Perhaps it is best to turn it off for showings. Will the dogs bark if you keep them in their kennel? This might be a good time to take them for a long walk or car ride. Will your dryer play the entirety of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 when it is done? Consider finishing the laundry later in the evening.
Preparing for a showing may feel daunting, but the steps are certainly worth the effort to woo potential buyers. Consider everything they may experience when walking through your home, from things as obvious as sight, to things as subtle as taste. As always, I am here to provide guidance and answer questions every step of the way.