What’s that Smell? - The Five Senses of Home Staging

Home Stager with Simply Stunning Staging

I walked into the potential staging client’s house and the smell of mothballs and all things that smelled old invaded my nose. Upon further inspection, the house didn't disappoint me, as it looked as old as it smelled. Although clean, the home had sat vacant and mostly closed up for several months. Inherited by an out-of-town owner whose family member had passed recently, the house sat for sale for 8 months. The neighborhood demographic included a mixture of recent new families as well as some seniors who had most likely lived there since the homes were built in the 1960’s. In any case, the particular smell of this home was definitely not appealing to anyone younger than 89 years old.

The most difficult part of my job is telling people that their house stinks, looks old or ugly, or is not comparable in style and market-ability to their competition. Obviously, I don’t use those words. So the first item on the Home Staging Report was "noticed musty smell." Although there were at least 59 other suggestions in the Home Stsging Report, the owner balked, defended, and detailed the reasons for the smell more than any other item. Although it seems as though I may have struck a nerve with the potential client, it actually meant that she knew it was bad and just didn't know what to do about it.

The human senses play a vital role in affecting a buyer’s decision. A professional stager will evaluate the condition of the house incorporating all five senses. People with a strong sense of smell will notice odors before anything else in a home. I am one of those people. I have literally turned around and walked out of a home, before viewing it, because the odor was so offensive to me.

I truly believe my husband and I bought our last house based on the smell. We looked at the French Country style house the day before Thanksgiving. The sweet smells of apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies (being baked in the 6-burner stove with huge double ovens) wafted through the house as we viewed each room. Did we notice the tons of outdated wallpaper that we would later hate? No. Did we notice the plumbing fiasco under the kitchen sink? No. Did we notice that there weren’t any automatic sprinkler systems, just manual ones? No. What we remembered was that wonderful smell which made us fall in love with the perception of the country home.

After some painting and soft vanilla flameless candles, we eliminated the musty smell in the 1960’s home. The house sold a few weeks later to a young family. See tomorrow’s blog for some solutions for getting rid of tough odors.

Staging is about creating a comfortable, warm, inviting perception for any home.

Simply Stunning Staging
simple changes – stunning results

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