Staging for The Five Senses

Today's sellers are on the hunt for creative ways to ramp up their marketing. It is a necessity in today's tough market to have several tips up your sleeve.

The idea is nothing new, but more and more sellers are beginning to discover the power of "staging." In today's article, we will focus on staging for the five senses. Human beings are a sensory species. Our judgement and emotions are strongly influenced by what our senses tell us.

To harness the full power of staging, it's time you covered the basics.

  1. Sight: This one is pretty obvious! Your rooms should be tidy and uncluttered. Photos, trophies, and kids' artwork should be replaced with simple, classic decor. A buyer needs to be able to imagine their own life in your home. If your budget allows, you may want to temporarily store outdated and oversized furniture. Rent new, modern pieces to create a simple and clean design.

    For tighter budgets, slipcovers are an inexpensive way to neutralize loud patterns and to deter attention from stained and damaged furniture.

  2. Smell: Be sure that each room is not only tidy, but that it smells clean. However, avoid harsh chemical smells, such as bleach. Many buyers may be sensitive to these smells and will want to make a quick exit. Consider installing simple room air fresheners or candles (when supervised) to create ambiance.

    Pet owners and smokers may have their work cut out for them. Smoke can infiltrate furniture, carpets, and even walls. And with many buyers suffering from allergies, you may need to send Lassie to doggy day care for the day. To remove odors, clean carpets and repaint walls.

  3. Touch: Broken and chipped tile, missing and loose handles, and wobbly handrails are all red flags to a would-be buyer. Be sure that you do any minor repairs before showing your home.

  4. Hearing: An open house can be an event. For large-scale estates, they may even include musical performances. But for smaller sales, and that is most of us, simply be sure that barking dogs are taken to doggy daycare. Have noisy equipment shut off. Don't leave on televisions or radios. Peace and quiet is a sound, too!

  5. Taste: Okay, this can be a hard one, depending on what kind of showing you are having. Open houses, though, are a great forum to provide wonderful food and drink. Many agents set up open houses much like a party. Be sure to have enough finger foods (that aren't messy) for all of your guests. And even small showings can play up the sense of taste by having freshly baked cookies or other goodies filling the air.

The bottom line? Staging is intended to create an atmosphere for the prospective buyer where they can envision themselves in your home. You create a lifestyle with your staging, and through how you stimulate the senses.