Give Your House a “Sense” of Home: Using the 5 Senses to Prepare for an Open House
The five senses; see, smell, hear, taste, and touch. Even a kindergartner can list them, but the concept is not as elementary as you think. Whether you know it or not, all of your senses have a lot to do with how you take in situations and surroundings. No, this is not a biology lesson, but it is something to take into account when you’re preparing your home for Sunday’s open house (check our site weekly for upcoming open houses).
Just think about it, you can walk into the most elegantly designed fine dining restaurant in the world, but if the food tastes like Playdough, you’re probably not going to leave with fond memories of the decor. The same goes for homes. The way a home makes a prospective buyer feel makes all the difference. We briefly touched on this in our post, 20 Things You Need to Know to Prepare Your Home for Potential Buyers, but decided it’s worth hitting even harder.
1. Sight: This is the most obvious one. Or at least it should be. Make sure your home looks its best inside and out. Pretend your husband’s parents are coming to town for a visit and are going to see your home for the first time. This means that it’s time to cross of everything on that list of things that you’ve been “meaning to do” for the past however long. Head to Home Depot, or Lowes, or Ace, or wherever. Buy a light bulb to replace the one outside of the front door that’s been burned out. Touch up the paint on that kitchen cabinet that the cat used as a scratching board. Straighten up the crooked shutter on the side of the house. You get the idea.
2. Smell:We’ve all heard that smell is the sense that is most strongly connected to memory. Have you ever walked into a home and been instantly overcome with a feeling of nostalgia because the wood smells like your grandmother’s home? Or the home you grew up in? You might not know it, but we all choose to live in homes that make us feel at home. Obviously, the Disco Kroger doesn’t carry an air freshening spray that smells like every potential prospects favorite memory, but there are tons of things you can do to make your home smell homey. Bake something right before the open house begins; cookies, bread, apple pie, or anything else that you’ve made before and are sure you won’t burn. Some people say you can put cinnamon in the oven before a showing and turn it on real low heat. Try this in advance though. If it works, comment and let us know how it goes! If cooking is not your forte, fill a bowl with some potpourri or add some lovely smelling flowers. If your home smells good when your prospects walk in and take their first whiff around, they’ll feel happier when they see the stuff that might not be so perfect.
3. Hear: Even the way a house sounds can change the way a person feels about it. If there’s total silence minus the occasional creepy creek, they’re probably not going to feel very comfortable. Put a little radio on both floors and have music playing. Your prospects might not even realize how good your house sounds, but they would notice if it sounded bad. Also, fix the ear piercers. Things like squeaky doors, loose steps, and anything else that causes a not-so-pleasant sound.
4.Taste: Who doesn’t love treats? That was a rhetorical question. Put out some cupcakes, brownies, or cookies for your prospective buyers. Or if you’re not in the mood to pull a Betty Crocker, just leave some M&Ms in bowls throughout your home. A treat is a treat. Where do you think the term butter them up came from? Every home has the potential to be cozy and comfortable, but sometimes, especially in empty houses, people have a hard time visualizing it. Giving prospects something that tastes good will make your home delicious. Not to mention it’s very thoughtful.
5. Touch: Touch is probably the hardest one because people touch everything even when there’s a sign that says “Don’t Touch.” So, you can’t control this one as much, but one thing you can control is the stuff you know they’re going to touch. Check all the door knobs. Make sure that they’re smooth and turn with ease. This goes for cabinet knobs and drawer handles, too. Touch also includes how the place feels. Temperature is important. Be sure it’s comfortable. It’s the Rule of the Three Bears (a rule we made up). Be sure your home is not too hot or too cold. Be sure it’s just right.
It’s as easy as the five senses. There’s no book or checklist. Before you open your home for an Open House, just be sure all five are covered!
Check out our other Atlanta real estate blog posts on other Atlanta homes we have for sale and things going on in Atlanta.
Article by: Lindley Knight