Getting advice on how to show your home to buyers can be endless: "Do this, do that, make sure you do this, and make sure you don't make these mistakes..." It can make you want to pull your hair out in frustration! There's too much to remember! Well, we're here to help you out. The easiest way to show your home to potential buyers is to remember the five basic senses - sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. 

A photo of a real estate agent opening the door of a home to potential home buyers. It is a house showing.

How does remembering this help you sell your home? The senses are what we use to perceive the world around us. In a new place, we can't rely on our memories or the words of others to describe what we're being exposed to. For buyers, they'll be using each one of their senses to interpret your home, and analyze how it can work for them. Certain sensory triggers cause an emotional response, and based on experience, will be perceived a certain way. As a basic example, when you smell pumpkin pie, do you think of Thanksgiving at your mom or grandmother's house? Knowing these subtle cues can add and/or highlight the best features of your home, making it more appealing to buyers. Additionally, the copious amount of information you get when looking for advice on showing are all based on the senses. In this way, remembering each of the five senses in reference to home buyers will help you remember everything you should do in order to sell your home at its absolute best! Let's talk about each sense:

1) Sight

An icon image of an open eye, indicating the sense of sight.

Easily the most important for the majority of us, is sight. What we sense with our eyes gives us an immediate first impression. Use this knowledge to your advantage by setting up a welcoming tone for buyers as soon as they see your home from the street. We're talking about curb appeal! Making sure that the land and foliage leading up to your home are taken care of and looking good translates to a clean, maintained first impression. This inviting impression beckons the buyer to go inside and see more. 

Inside, give everything a good clean and declutter. Messy homes give off the impression of neglect, and this perception often extends to the impression of a home's systems being neglected. A clean home shows buyers at a glance that your home is maintained, and it shows off all the space in each room! Try starting from the top (ceiling fans, tops of bookcases, high shelves, etc) and work your way down to the floor for a logical approach. Highlight the good features of your home by opening up the curtains, and/or turning lights on. Cleaning blinds is a pain in the butt, but we promise you the effort is noticed, consciously or otherwise!

2) Smell

An icon image of a nose, indicating the sense of smell.

We're acclimated to the smells in our home, so this sense is easily forgotten about. However, the sense of smell is the most powerful sense for evoking emotion and memories. Think about what smells are lingering in your home, and work to eliminate the nasty ones. For example, we all love pets, but it's off-putting for buyers to be smelling pet odours, or the litter box. Neutralize those odours by giving those items a good clean. Take care not to go overboard with creating wonderful smells, this can backfire on you. Overwhelming "good" scents take away from buyers experiencing the rest of your home with their other senses, in addition to being an allergy hazard. We recommend using natural scents as much as possible, like doing a load of laundry before showing, or baking some cookies before showing. If you have a teen boy, send him and his stinky feet to grandma and grandpa's house at least half a day before showing...only kidding! Maybe just hose them down and keep them outside while showing. (joking, of course)

3) Hearing

An icon image of an ear, indicating the sense of hearing.

Noisy neighbours can make selling your home a difficult task. Not only will the potential buyer be purchasing your home, but they're purchasing the neighbourhood -in a sense- as well. Have a polite chat with your neighbours about any upcoming showings you have, making mention of acceptable noise levels. If there's a mutual dislike between you and your neighbour, explain to them that cooperating with you now will help get you out of their neighbourhood faster. It's not a polite method, but it does usually get them to cooperate amicably.

If you want to further the ambience of the home during a showing, playing music at a low volume is an inexpensive way to do so. Jazz is a popular option for creating a relaxing atmosphere. If you would like a modern feel, search up some lo-fi beats. This is electronic music designed to be relaxing. Have a water fountain or other water feature? Leave them on for the showing, making sure to open any windows near exterior water features. 

4) Taste

An icon image of a mouth and tongue, indicating the sense of taste.

Buyers that dedicate entire days to house showings can get pretty tired. It's hard to enjoy the experience while thirsty or hungry. Knowing this, you can leave out simple snacks or water bottles on the kitchen counter. This one isn't completely necessary, but it does leave a great impression on buyers as to what kind of person you are. Or hey, if you did bake cookies to leave a great lingering smell, you can leave them out for the showing! Dual purpose!

5) Touch

An icon image of a hand, indicating the sense of touch.

Gritty and textured surfaces may not look dirty, but they should get a good cleaning too. Everything you can touch in your home should be clean. This doesn't mean buyers go around your house, touching and wiping everything with their hands. It just means that a clean impression is the most positive, and that extends through touch. If one textured surface isn't clean, but you've made sure other surfaces are clean, that uncleaned surface can stick out like a sore thumb to potential buyers. If their hands come away with dirt or dust, they begin to wonder what other things you've maybe neglected or only paid attention to. If you have carpet in your home, vacuum it in both directions for that luxurious, underfoot feeling.

Remember, the idea of memorizing the five senses in regards to showing your home is that it prioritizes home showing advice, which emphasizes the already awesome features of your home. You're not giving buyers a false impression, you're enhancing what's great about your home, and helping buyers to visualize that better. If you think your home may need more work for showing, your Century 21 Realtor can help you with staging and even give you advice about what renovations will offer the best value once you sell.

Posted by Admin Staff on


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