Learn how the real estate industry is tapping into sensory experiences to entice buyers.
Sure, curb appeal is important to the first impression of a house listed for sale; but what really cements the initial offer [pardon the pun] is evoking the senses upon entering a home. Sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch all play a role in conveying the essence of the home’s spirit.
Have you ever walked into a house and felt an energy that you just didn’t like for some reason? Maybe there was a repelling smell, and every time you return, you don’t look forward to the visit. As much as these elements may have a negative effect, they can also produce a positive effect.
According to research produced in the March 2019 Profile of Home Staging by the National Association of Realtors Research Group (NAR): 40 percent of buyers’ agents cited home staging had an effect on most buyers’ view of the home; 28 percent of sellers’ agents said they staged all sellers’ homes prior to listing them for sale; 13 percent noted that they only staged homes that are difficult to sell. The most common rooms that were staged included the living room, the kitchen, the master bedroom, and the dining room.
Full Beaker, Inc.’s TheMortgageReports.com reported in February of this year that, on average, 73 percent of homes sold faster with staging. Dressing up the home helps buyers see themselves in the space, and also gives inspiration to ways certain areas can be used.
The numbers are there, and affluent real-estate firms are capitalizing on this manipulated home-environment aesthetic. Virginia-based Long & Foster worked with a French-fragrance house, MANE, to create its company scent “LF68.” The signature scent of the luxury, full-service brokerage firm contains notes of champagne rose, lavender leaves, rhubarb, and subtle profiles of lemon to convey cleanliness.
The largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S., Windermere Real Estate, announced on its company blog this September that the firm partnered with music streaming service provider, Spotify, to create its own channel of playlists. The music caters to “every aspect of what it means to be home …” with playlist titles such as: “House Hunting,” “Open House,” and “Dinner Party Essentials.”
Of course, if you like to be creative or add a personal approach to a listing visit, complimentary baked cookies, granola bars, water and/or sodas, are always classic favorites for comforting guests. Potential buyers are typically on-the-go from one house to another during their Saturday off or rushing from work during lunch or after hours to check out properties. You are sure to satisfy by lending some snacks for the walk through.
Opening blinds, turning on lights, playing music, and lighting some candles can all be elevated by providing a few tactile activities—especially to keep kids occupied during a showing. Leave a board game or card game out on the living room table. Celebrity home-staging guru Meridith Baer suggests displaying a cookbook open on the kitchen counter. In a similar vein, Luxe Interiors + Design, Domino, or dwell magazines are apropos to engage a spouse desperate to take a break from the show-and-tell visits. Bright-colored, fresh flowers or interesting plants can always provoke guests to touch and see if they are real.
Offering some of these strategies can be invigorating for listings. Sellers choosing to go FISBO can also benefit from an experience driven by one or all of the five senses. Go with what works best for the home. Give home-seekers a window into how well the property serves for a family, a single person, or a couple—whatever the home’s strength may be.
What are ways that you butter up a listing? Share your comments.
Note: IMPACT Home Inspections does provide Pre-Listing/Sale Inspections. If you have a listing that has been neglected by a Snowbird; or sellers who remain firm in their over-priced home, you may want to suggest an inspection. That way you negate future headaches or drawn out negotiations that lead nowhere.