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The five senses and your home sale

By Michael Walkden


Houses for sale in a certain area can all start to seem the same to the avid house hunter, especially if they’re in a subdivision of similarly aged dwellings. So how can you make sure your home stands out when it’s time to sell? You can start by considering all five senses.


The emotional feeling you get from a home can often be a literal interpretation of how certain things make you feel. If you’re renovating your house, it can be best to wait until you are absolutely, 100 per cent finished. Rough edges and unsanded floors can leave a potential purchaser with the feeling that there is still a lot of work to be done – even if you only need a few more hours to wrap up your project.

Remember, especially in winter, that large, tiled areas can make a room feel cold. If your open for inspection visitors have taken their shoes off because of the wet weather, greeting them with cold floors is not the best way to win them over. If you have under-floor heating, use it wherever possible. A judicious application of runners or rugs could also help you warm things up – but make sure not to visually clutter your home.


Speaking of clutter, this is the first step for a home that is visually appealing – get rid of it. Whether it’s going into storage or you sell it off, making your home as clean and open as possible can only do good things for the impression buyers have of your home. This also means removing photos, portraits and knick-knacks – anything that gets in the way of the buyer imagining themselves in the property.

Light is also a big part of a house that seems spacious and welcoming. While you would usually only have a few lights on in the home, it’s worthwhile turning all lights on during opens. Not only does this make it easier for when people go from room to room, it also shows the true size of each area. When rooms are dark and shadowed, they can seem smaller than they actually are.


A soundscape can determine how homely a place feels. If you live near a motorway or train station, this can be a distraction for buyers – even though you don’t notice the sound when you live in the house. A good way to replicate the sound of an active household is to have music on in the background, or have the TV turned on to the Travel Channel or something similar.


Let’s face it – homes for sale that have a funky smell don’t go down well. There are three steps you can take here to increase the appeal of your home. First, remember that you are used to the smell of your own home – others may not be. Ask a friend or family member if they think your home could do with a different air freshener or some other fragrant touch.

Second, clean out smelly areas like sink traps, toilets and teenagers’ rooms. In the same vain, don’t cook a highly fragrant meal the night before or morning of an open for inspection. A strong curry or a fried breakfast can leave a lingering odour that is off-putting for buyers.

Lastly, try calming your space with scents like vanilla or rosewater. If you want to energise a room, like a breakfast nook, leaving the coffee pot on will fill the room with an enticing aroma.


A surefire way to make your home memorable and appealing is to leave some baking out for guests. Ask your real estate agent to ensure that guests don’t take food throughout the house. Not only will a fresh tray of cookies make your kitchen smell delicious, but it will keep kids occupied while parents look around. And while the tenth house you’ve seen in day may not be distinguishable from the third – everyone can remember the home that had scones and muffins on offer.

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