Sense of home
In the 90's home owners would brew some coffee and bake some bread to capture the attention of buyers... we've upped the game when it comes to creating the perfect atmosphere to stage your home for a viewing.
Paying attention to the five senses can help viewers feel at home, feel more relaxed and feel more inclined to buy a new home. We have discussed and trialled lots of ways to create the perfect atmosphere for a viewing with our Partners and friends.
The goal is to limit noise while creating a harmony of desirable sounds such as conversation, music and natural ambience. We want to create a warm sound profile. Most estate agents will turn off the radio and talk loudly to accentuate positives about a home. We think that the background silence and excessive talk is “noise”, which makes it hard for people to concentrate and communicate. We prefer to play soft music that suits the home so we create a bespoke playlist for each home we sell and have it playing at a nice level during viewings.
Balancing the acoustics is a powerful way to keep viewers calm and engaged. Visual perception of space is on a conscious level, whereas the audible perception is almost entirely on the subconscious level, which is why it’s such a strong tool.
Enhancing the tactile dimensions of your home can up the ante of the viewing experience. Vicky Floros, our Partner in Stamford suggests incorporating a range of textures into the home by buying some new cushions, throws, rugs and flowers.
Vicky has been known to carry around a car load of soft furnishings for her viewings, “I take out all the old looking cushions and replace them with mine. There is one house I am working on where I arrive early and replace all the thick, bright, light minimising curtains with soft, white linen ones – it makes a huge difference”, says Vicky.
The appearance of a space can either gently beckon a potential buyer in or frighten them off. The first principle to crafting a space that soothes weary buyers’ eyes is to note that natural lighting is always better. Let in as much sunlight as possible and avoid pitting artificial light sources against natural light – so don’t just turn on all the lights in the middle of the day. We try to lead viewings during daylight, but if we lead viewings during evenings then we suggest that clients buy some smaller lamps with soft light bulbs. We then pop them on instead of just turning on all the lights.
Layout is the next thing to consider in grooming the appearance of your home. The goal is to make a simple yet personal space so we suggest that clients de-clutter their home and try to minimise the “stuff” that is out. Cleanliness and a lack of clutter helps viewers focus on what’s important (which is the space) and whether they can see themselves living there.
Delicious foods are not just for restaurants and bakeries. We incorporate a delicious touch into our repertoire to make viewers feel more at ease. Christian Eldershaw, our Hackney & Haringey Partner will always take pastries from a local bakery if he is leading Saturday morning viewings. He’ll also have our coffee brewing. He prides himself on the thoughtfulness of his work, for example stopping to chat with viewers in the kitchen.
“This not only pleases their eyes but their taste buds as well,” says Christian.
We use plants, flowers, candles and even potpourri in order to freshen up rooms and keep spaces feeling airy.My shopping list includes: lots of fresh eucalyptus, Diptique candles, fresh fruit. I also send clients some Mr and Mrs Clarke coffee to brew before a viewing.
A pleasant scent should be part of the dynamics. The ideal scenario is for a home to be a wonderful atmosphere for the senses—beautiful objects on display, music playing and natural fragrances, all woven together.
As for keeping tricky areas such as the bathroom and kitchen smelling nice, we don’t try too hard with artificial fragrances or heavily scented candles— Plants and flowers bring both aesthetic and olfactory goodness to a room. We recommend that clients have these in abundance in these rooms. However if these spaces are kept clean, then a few spritzes of essential oil spray will keep the air fresh before a viewing.
We open windows, throw open the bifold doors and let some fresh air in an hour before the viewing. Smells make a big impression on people and they can dictate a mood.