I Sense a Sale!

Real Estate Agent with Integrity FIRST REALTORS 2013024956


Whenever possible I like to sensory stage a home prior to a showing.

Fall and Winter provide some of the best canvases for enhancing the home through all of the senses. Just the mention of Fall or Autumn brings colors of orange, dark reds, bright yellows to mind, the aroma of fireplaces, the crunch of leaves. We take in the world through every sense, so of course it makes sense to engage those senses when showing our homes to buyers.

The research shows we experience physiologic changes when we come in contact with colors, aromas, music, texture or taste. Fragrance triggers memories, music causes our brain to release dopamine which makes us happy, visions of food can cause us to salivate, and so on.

We don't have to have the latest research in hand to make sense of all it. We simply need to realize that trying to embrace all of the senses when showing a home  can produce a positive affect with the buyer.

Engaging Sound - Background Music

Walking into a silent home is not welcoming. You can feel on edge, a bit like an intruder. So in an effort to make potential buyers feel more comfortable during their showing I ALWAYS PLAY BACKGROUND MUSIC.  

  • I use Pandora so the music is readily available to me. You can create your own stations on it.
  • I prefer instrumentals that are not too sleepy or too symphonic, just easy listening.
  • If it is the holidays you can definitely incorporate that into the sounds you provide.
  • CDs, a Play List, Radio and other streaming music programs are all other options.
  • Be sure to keep the volume loud enough to hear but not loud enough to really notice.

Music can bring pleasure to those who hear it and making your showing more pleasurable for buyers is positively a profitable idea.


Engaging Smell - Background Fragrance

Engaging our nose is a very powerful tool! Of course you don't want there to be any bad odors in the home, and the last thing you want to do is appear to be covering up a bad smell. So be sure to keep it subtle.

I like to use a very nice potpourri that has identifiable things in the mix as well as a fragrance.

  • For this Fall I have chosen one from Pier 1 that has little white pumpkins in it and has some touches of teal that went with my client's decor
  • December - pine cones and spruce potpourri with a soft balsam scent
  • Spring - bits of lilac or florals with a complimentary scent
  • Summer - little starfish and sea shells with a soft scent of ocean

Fall Tips

Don't light candles. Obviously that is unsafe, but moreover their fragrance can overpower the room. However, open up a new fragrant candle and you will have enough scent to softly add to the fragrance in the room as well as harmonize with the potpourri. 

Engaging Taste - Muffins or Cookies

It is nothing new to suggest that you have cookies baking when you have a showing. For Fall and Winter, try a new twist! There are SO MANY great pumpkin flavored treats that will spice up your kitchen. The scent of it will have buyers wanting to taste them. 

  • Display your FRESH BAKED goodies in clear glass displays on a counter.
  • Make some Autumn Harvest Coffee or
  • Brew a Mulled Cider and stage it with cups and cinnamon sticks

In this one instance we may not be able to indulge the sense completely. But the sight and smell of something yummy will conjure up lots of good thoughts and feelings.

Engaging Vision - Signs of the Season

Fall brings us MUMS and PUMPKINS, gorgeous LEAVES and WARM COLORS. Use these seasonal colors to appeal to eyes of a buyer.

happy mums








  • Change out a door wreath
  • Add a "Welcome" Mum to the porch  
  • A Bowl of Red or Green Apples for Fall
  • Set out Hand Soaps with seasonal color and fragrance

Vision probably contributes most to our success in Real Estate. If buyers like what they see, that is what they will buy. So take advantage of the season and deck it out!

Engaging Touch - Make it Touchable

There are things that make us want to touch them. Is it real? It looks so soft. We buy a robe because it feels cuddly when we wrap it around us. Sheets, towels and even our clothes have to feel good against our skin.  Here again we want to invite our buyers to touch even though it may not be something sold with the home. It is something they can imagine having in that home if they lived there.

The point is to touch them in every sense possible. After all, a home needs to feel good too!

Where to add the touch:

  • Fluffy Throw on the sofa invites a touch 
  • Textured Pillows with embroidery or layers of fabric
  • Towels that are fluffy and neatly displayed 
  • Fruit and Shaped Soaps work for this too


Seasonal Changes bring challenges and opportunities. Fall and Winter are Nesting seasons for us. We are indoors earlier because there is less daylight, we tend to cook comfort foods and we love being surrounded by warm fires and home cooked meals.

Making our Listings appeal to the senses will evoke responses that buyers love.

They will see themselves enjoying life in that home.

So have a contract ready because... I Sense a Sale!












Comments (6)

Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I think it is important to use all the senses to appeal to buyers. There are some great suggestions here. I'll have to get some of that potpourri.

Oct 05, 2014 02:05 PM
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

Excellent points. When you think of the homes that sell quickly they grab you from the minute you walk in due to all your senses being engaged. 

Oct 05, 2014 02:19 PM
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

This post is just loaded with great ideas - thank you!

Oct 05, 2014 08:53 PM
Debbie Stolle
Integrity FIRST REALTORS - Branson, MO

Susan, thank you! I really love using the sense even in my everyday life for me. Just finished some spice pancakes and the house smells so good!

Oct 06, 2014 01:44 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Debbie Stolle that's the perfect way to sell the homes in Fall and Winter. I sense the $$$$$$ for you!

Oct 06, 2014 12:00 PM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Hi Debbie,

We always encourage sellers who want to wait till Spring to list during the fall and during the holidays.  Homes look more festive and people are usually in a better mood.


Oct 21, 2014 07:17 AM