Love at First Sight

Home Stager
As we get ready to celebrate Valentine's Day, what better time to discuss the subject of falling in love.  After all, when you're preparing your home for sale, your goal is to get buyers to fall in love with your house.
crazy in loveJust like all other matters of the heart, the home buying process is extremely emotional.  How can savvy sellers use this to their advantage?  Let me count the ways......  
A great place to start helping your house elicit the love response, is by using psychology to engage your buyers' 5 senses: sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste. Today we'll start with sight.    
Buyers react emotionally to what they see so it's up to you the seller to make sure everything your buyers see elicits a POSITIVE emotional response.  Start by making sure the exterior of your home cries out to your buyers, compelling them to come inside to see more.  And just in case you didn't already know this, things like peeling paint, cracks in the driveway and junk car collections are NOT going to put your buyers in the mood for anything (except maybe moving on to the next house on their list) so be sure to fix or remove anything that looks like its in need of repair.
burning love
Once inside, the lighting will immediately affect the way a buyer feels in your home - and remember - you want them to feel good.

If your house is being shown during the day, make sure you're using the natural light your house receives to its maximum potential.  Open the drapes, lift the blinds and let that warm, nurturing healthful sunlight shine in.  

Getting in touch with Mother Nature soothes, relaxes and calms us in more ways than we may realize, so make sure you NEVER cover up a window that offers a beautiful view.  Window treatments need to complement the scenery NOT compete with it - so very often the best thing your window could be wearing is.......nothing at all.  Bright, unnatural and fluorescent lighting will do little to turn your buyers on, so be sure to brighten those dark corners with soft lamp lighting that mimics daylight.  
Stay my next post I will share more about how to engage the other senses.  
Posted by




Karen Bernetti is a Real Estate Stager, Former Realtor®, Author, Speaker, and Owner of Staging4Smooth Transitions - specializing in assisting seniors with their downsize moves and offering Home2Home Transitions seminars. Karen is also the Social Media Manager and Administrative Coordinator for Prudential CT Realty, in Madison, CT and Co-creator of the Ready2Sellin30Days System - an interactive multi-media program teaching do-it-yourself homeowners EVERYHTING they need to know about preparing a home for sale. Stay up to date on the latest staging and home decor trends by visiting Karen & Ann's Home Sale Success Blog.  


Comments (14)

Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota/Wisconsin Real Estate Expert

Its so true that many buyers need to LOVE the home at first site.  Hoping that happens for me in showings later today.

Feb 10, 2012 01:32 AM
Liz and Bill Spear
Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
Transaction Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Karen, That's one of our advice pieces to our sellers.  Keep the curtains/blinds open and the light coming in.  The only exception is when the neighbor's wall is about 10 feet away, then maybe keep that blind closed :)

Feb 10, 2012 01:32 AM
Lindsey Hasford
Edina Realty - Elk River, MN
Bringing you home...

Yup. It's about that good ol' feeling they get when they go inside a home. Often it happens within minutes of enterting the front door.

Feb 10, 2012 01:38 AM
Karen Bernetti
Southington, CT

I hope so too, Chuck.

BLiz, there are many ways to deal with those less than attractive views - we'll save that for another post!   

Lindsey, isn't it great when it happens that fast?! 

Feb 10, 2012 01:39 AM
Janet Jones
Just Your Style Interiors, LLC - Kihei, HI
Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Hi Karen--great post. That's the sellers goal--have buyers fall in love.  Having the assistance of a professional stager makes sure that happens.  I am looking forward to the rest of your posts in this series. 

Feb 10, 2012 06:16 PM
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Karen~Terrific post, well thought out and expressed and I loved your charicature on the top! For us, having vacation homes that are often vacant also means that shades are drawn, the heat and water are off and it can be cumbersome to make it feel "homey" when no one's in it for more than a few weeks a year! The "cold" can certainly effect my buyers. It's one of those senses that isn't in the top five, but sure can make a difference.


Feb 13, 2012 03:39 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Falling in love is wonderful...especially if it is one of my listings.

Happy Valentine's Day to the one person that inspired me to blog daily on AR. I am grateful.


Feb 14, 2012 09:26 AM
Lisa Schott
Arranged To Sell, LLC - Londonderry, NH

Hi Karen, Great job on your blog!

Feb 16, 2012 11:19 AM
Karen Ellis
Refreshing Homes - Home Staging Maryland - Ellicott City, MD
Home Stager - Howard County MD/Central MD

Sometimes the simplest things have the biggest impact on how buyers view a home. Good post.

Feb 19, 2012 11:07 AM
Marcia Kramarz
Re/Max Executive Realty - Medway, MA

I guess if we're going to get them to open the blinds we better have the discussion of washing the windows! Had to come here after reading "Common Scents"  - All good stuff, Karen!

Feb 23, 2012 09:29 PM
Karen Bernetti
Southington, CT

Thanks Janet, Lisa and Karen 

Gayle - I'll definitely be "touching" on that one soon!  

Margaret - if only I could inspire myself to do the same.....

Marcia - excellent point.  thanks for the reminder

Feb 24, 2012 02:03 PM
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


This is such a good series for sellers to read.  Sellers do usually know that making the house presentable is important.  Some stop there, they need to make the house look smashing so that buyers will fall in love with the house at first sign.

Feb 25, 2012 03:13 AM
Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty - York, ME
Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate

HI Karen - I came off one of your later blogs in the series and I am glad that I did!  I so agree with your comments on light.  I was at an inspection today, and the buyer commented on how she loved the light.

Mar 18, 2012 05:56 AM
John Carter
IBM - Pine Valley, NY

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