Play to the buyers’ senses as you prep your home for sale
Bookmark and Share
By Ken Schrier  June 13, 2014 12:00 am

Buyers rely on three out of five senses when shopping for a property. The sight, the sounds and the smells all play equal parts when buyers are deciding on what house to make their home.

Sight comes first and starts at the curb. Fresh paint, well-maintained lawns and freshly planted flowers start the process before the buyer even leaves the car. Even a simple power wash and “dewebbing” of the bushes can mean the difference to some.

The sights continue inside with organized rooms, dish-free sinks and counters, clean bathrooms and bedrooms with beds made. The home should be clutter free and neat at all times during viewing hours.

Smells are just as important as sight. Smoke and animal odors can be an immediate turnoff to most. If the window coverings are fabric and can be washed, do it. The carpets should be cleaned professionally if possible. Ask your carpet cleaner if a dry clean is available because steam cleaning may bring up the animal and smoke smell from the pad even more after it dries.

Scented candles are always a good idea as an accent (never a mask). Lightly scented plug-ins can be a simple alternative as well. Stay away from floral and sweet smells like roses or berries, they can be overpowering.

Music soothes both the savage beast and, as an added bonus, most cranky buyers. Low playing jazz and some upbeat classical music are usually inviting sounds when entering a house. 

If you aren’t sure what works, tune your television to “Smooth Jazz” on your local cable or satellite system. If possible, leave it on during the day whenever you are not home.


Ken Schrier is a licensed Realtor working throughout Sonoma and Marin Counties but focuses mainly on Rohnert Park, Cotati, and Penngrove He can be reached at or by cell at (707) 529-4819.

Post Your Comments:
 *name appears on your post