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Staging - Beyond the Visuals

Staging - Beyond the Visuals

 

When we think of staging, we often think about the ‘visual’ impact that a home will have on potential buyers. Our mission is to stage each home so as to capture the interest of as many potential buyers as possible. 

 

Staging - Beyond the visuals

 

Yes, staging involves sight, but the sounds, smells and even tactile effects of the house are just as important as the visuals. In fact, all of our senses can subtly impact the emotional response of buyers and yes, all buyers, whether they are conscious of it or not, are buying with their senses.

 

Our goal as the listing agent is to make all of our sellers' guests feel 'at home.'  

 

music sellsWhat do I mean 'buying with their senses?'

  • Visual:  First impressions, quality you can 'see' in the home's construction, appointments you can 'see,’ staging that is visually appealing, good lighting…
  • Touch: "Have you run your fingers over that leathered granite in the kitchen? OH MY!" You bet, the sense of touch plays a big role in buying a home.
  • Olfactory:  "Ahh, this one smells like fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies!

    TIP: NO artificial scents are ever recommended - only natural, boiling apples & cinnamon or fresh-baked desserts. And, yes, buyers do enjoy walking into a home that ‘feels like’ grandma’s - but, it really only ‘smells’ like grandma’s!
  • List my Charlotte home for saleAuditory: If you don’t have a good sense of how music evokes a particular mood, go into one of your favorite restaurants or shops and listen to what they are playing to relax their customers. Naysayers will tell you that music doesn't work during showings...I'm here to tell you that buyers do, indeed, buy with their senses and soft playing music is helpful in making your guests feel at home the minute they walk in the front door. After all, besides ultimately selling your home, isn't your mission to make them feel at home so they will WANT to buy your home?

 

TIP: Soft-playing music is recommended - jazz or classical; nothing that is over-powering, only soft, background music is recommended.

 

Your sellers’ guests may not even realize that the soft music is playing unobtrusively in the background and the sweet, wafting scent of fresh-cut roses in the kitchen vase are why they feel so relaxed in your home. 

Captivating Senses


Certain sounds, visuals, scents or even tactile signals can cleverly elicit the right emotional response in buyers. Again, do not overwhelm; simply trigger warm associations of home and hearth. 

 

© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | CharlotteBroker@icloud.com | Staging - Beyond the Visuals

The Maxwell House Group Charlotte NC

 

  Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

 (THE best Charlotte home search available - no kidding!)

Charlotte NC Real Estate Agents 

 

Charlotte CRS Agent


Debe Maxwell, Realtor®/Broker/CRS

RE/MAX Executive

CharlotteBroker@icloud.com
Direct:  (704) 491-3310

 

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Comment balloon 61 commentsDebe Maxwell, CRS • September 02 2019 05:17AM

Comments

Morning Debe

Since I quite smoking about 30+ years ago I have a very sensitive nose.  I can smell a cover up immediately.....LOL

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) 15 days ago

Good morning, Debe Maxwell, CRS buying is guided by the senses.... and with homes, it begins on the outside.... "the eye buys" and then it makes progress to the interior where all the senses are in play... well beyond the eyes....  love this post....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) 15 days ago

That is a great point as many miss the smells and sound part Debe Maxwell, CRS 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) 15 days ago

Hello Debe - home buying involves many senses.  Effective staging attracts potential new owners on multiple levels.

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 15 days ago

Good morning Debe. Emotions buy and the brain justifies the decision. Oh those senses! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) 15 days ago

Good morning Debe Maxwell, CRS ,

You hit it out of the park with this well deserved featured post! Your mission to capture the interest of as many buyers as possible and by making them feel at home though your tips will tender the interest you need to obtain those offers for your sellers!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) 15 days ago

Good morning Debe. This is terrific and on the money. Congratulations on the feature.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) 15 days ago

Excellent, well deserved feature post!

I cannot agree more...staging is far more than the visual aspect that most people associate it with!

When we were selling I had a pot roast cooking in a crock pot for the open house. My agent said that everyone who entered for the open house commented on how wonderful it smelled. 

My daughter-in-law did the same thing for open and same results. 

You have to be careful if you go with food smells, but I find that tomato sauce, beef stew and pot roast are well accepted.

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) 15 days ago

Debe excellent job on this blog.  Well deserved feature on this one!!!

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) 15 days ago

Debe Maxwell, CRS - Congratulations on your FEATURE! You did an excellent job! I was planning to write a blog post on this same topic but have been too busy. Now I don't need to. You covered it all! 

Well done!!!

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) 15 days ago

James Dray, I too, have a super sensitive olefactory sense and often joke that it's both a blessing and a curse! I can smell mold (err...fungal growth! LOL) a mile away! If I come back as a dog, I'll be a drug- or bomb-sniffing one! 🤣 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 15 days ago

Thank you, Barbara Todaro! Certainly alot of truth in everything you said! Staging absolutely begins on the outside...and goes deep within the confines of the tiniest closet too! 😉 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 15 days ago

They do and many say not to do 'any' of either but, I have had amazing results from both and never a negative comment. That's probably because we teach the sellers the 'not-too-much' lesson! 

Scott Godzyk 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 15 days ago

Absolutely, Michael Jacobs! So far, never a negative comment about the softly playing music or the smell of 'real' cookies, baking, etc.

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 15 days ago

You've got to love those senses...and be thankful for them too, Wayne Martin!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 15 days ago

Well, thank you, Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR! I can tell you, I point these things out to my buyers also. We notice when sellers go above and beyond to make our experience a wonderul one when we are guests in their home. For me, it goes beyond the 'emotion' - it also says a little something about the sellers too! 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 15 days ago

Hi Debe,  Excellent blog post and this is so true.  When buyers walk into a home like you described, their tensions are eased and the relaxed atmosphere helps them to really put themselves there.

Posted by Ricki Eichler McCallum, Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS (CastNet Realty) 15 days ago

Thank you, sweet Sheila! I do hope you're having a better Monday and enjoying a sinfully lazy day today! 

Sheila Anderson 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 15 days ago

I am with you 100% on the cooking scents! The worst, in my experience, is curry - it tends to get into the fibers of carpets, furniture and just hold on to it for DAYS!

My best tip is for sellers to put a pot of water on the stove and add a dash of cinnamon and a slice of apple. Bring to a boil and then turn to simmer while you go around the house turning on all of the lights and opening all of the blinds. Then stick the pot in the oven and leave. Your house will smell like grandma's! 😃 

Sharon Tara 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 15 days ago

Well, thank you, George Souto! I hope you're having a relaxing Labor Day! 🇺🇸 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 15 days ago

Well, thank you so much Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP! And, of course this was on your mind - great minds, always! 💋 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 15 days ago

My pleasure Debe. When you do this well, you should be featured. :)

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) 15 days ago

So true, Ricki Eichler McCallum! Don't you pay attention when sellers go above and beyond to make our experience a wonderul one when we are guests in their home? For me, it says a lot about the sellers too!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 15 days ago

Very good post. It is important to have the complete package to offer a complete experience to our visitors and bring a higher chance to submit an offer. Congratulations!

Posted by AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS, Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL (Keyes Co. ) 15 days ago

Great post, Debe Maxwell, CRS - Well deserving of a gold star.  

I think Wayne Martin stated it best for me. Emotions buy and the brain justifies it. Evoking the emotions helps unlock that decision!

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) 15 days ago

I recently went into a kitchen of a house listed in the 700's and found what couple be described no other way than "grossness" on the kitchen counter.  I was showing in a few minutes and went to my car and got a pack of wipes (they were baby wipes) and cleaned it.  I just have no idea why someone would leave toast crumbs and jelly smears on their counter knowing someone was coming to show the house.

But yes, staging goes deeper than have a nice fruit bowl on the counter and a pop of color in the living room.  It also has to be clean and smell clean.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) 15 days ago

Smelling and looking clean is most important in properly staging a home.

Posted by Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900!, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) 15 days ago

Thank you, AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS.You bet! It absolutely does make a difference in procuring an Offer - and a good one too!

Hope you're prepared in Davie County this week and have gone to safe ground. 😊 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 15 days ago

Don't you love it when you see it done with your buyers too, Sheri Sperry - MCNE®? You hand-picked the perfect house for them and the sellers did everything right to make your buyers feel like it's home to them...it's just the perfect scenario, for sure! 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 15 days ago

OMG, I have had that happen too, Tammy! Most recently, gooey finger prints all down the stairs...the clean-up was done about 1/2 second before the buyers arrived too! LOL 

It makes a difference. As my grandmother used to say, "Cleanliness is next to Godliness!" 

Tammy Lankford, 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 15 days ago

Yes and from the outside-in too, Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900! 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 15 days ago

Good morning Debe, great post! Cognitive behavior and its impact on people's emotions and reactions is a powerful tool. One in which we have the ability to impact during our conversations, presentations and open houses. Have a great week. Stay safe up in Charlotte. We got lucky down in SWFL.

Posted by Matthew Klinowski, PA, Golf Community Real Estate Specialist (Downing-Frye) 14 days ago

Congratulations on a well deserved feature.  I love the idea of relating all the senses - it will help me as I get ready for my next open house!

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) 14 days ago

Very spot on.  The senses are so important.  Typically the first sense to react is that of smell.  The cinnamon and apple suggestion is great for open houses (I love putting the pot in the oven!!)

Posted by Shirley Coomer, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az (Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living) 14 days ago

Excellent post, Debe.  All the senses should be engaged for staging. Unfortunately, I've seen the auditory portion abused with the homeowners personal preference.  This is also true in virtual tour videos done by agents.  Your recommendation for relaxing, soft, music is spot on.  It's a subliminal thing, isn't it?

Posted by Carol Williams, Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager (Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.) 14 days ago

I'd definitely buy a house if it smelled like fresh baked cookies! ;) Love this article. Thank you.

Posted by Elise Rudarmel, Aspiring Real Estate Agent-Observing. (Agent Professor Online School) 14 days ago

Excellent post based on many years of observation and seeing what works best.

You are correct: staging involves sight, but the sounds, smells and even tactile effects of the house are just as important as the visuals. In fact, all of our senses can subtly impact the emotional response of buyers 

Posted by John Henry, Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design (John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc.) 14 days ago

I never realized artificial scents were a no no. I will make that change next time. Great post!

Posted by Mike Frazier, Northwest Tennessee Realtor (Carousel Realty of Dyer County) 14 days ago

The "max" in Maxwell is being applied to this subject

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) 14 days ago

I will try the fragrance recepe, Debe Maxwell, CRS , boiling apples and cinnamon. I don't like artificial scents, so I never put them in my listings.

Posted by Steffy Hristova, Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work! (HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 480-966-9353) 14 days ago

Well done, Debe- when we buy a home we don't use just one of our senses. Smells, auditory, visual come together to create that "I'm home" feeling. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 14 days ago

Yes, Debe, a fresh, clean house that doesn't have any 'cover up' smells instead of any of those scents (or plug ins) is always what I recommend in the Staging Consultations that Realtors hire me to do for their clients. 

I like one of the sayings that I learned in my ASP® and ASPM® training - "If you can smell it, you can't sell it" - Barb Schwarz

I love your idea about playing soft music in the background during showings!!  I'll remember to add this wonderful suggestion in my Staging Consultations!  Thank you, Debe, for a great post.

Posted by Virginia Youngblood, DO-STAGE! LLC - Home Stager - ASPM® (DO-STAGE! LLC - an ASPM® Home Staging Company) 14 days ago

Debe, no matter what the price point the moment someone is ready to buy a particular home there was an emotional connection and staging helps it, loved your perspetive on this subject,Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) 14 days ago

Good tips to remember - especially the natural smells

Posted by Michael Fourte, Michael Fourte is the CEO of Fourte Real Estate. (Fourte Real Estate) 12 days ago

Another great post. All very good thoughts to take into consideration. 

Planning the experience is very important to all that take a look at the property. 

Posted by 1~Laura Filip, What can we do for you today? (1~Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life ) 12 days ago

Everything to make the potential buyer comfortable and relaxed.  Thank you for your post and congratulations on it being featured.

Posted by Raymond Henson, Realtor (eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277)) 10 days ago

We also got lucky, Matthew Klinowski, PA - thankfully! We are so thankful we are not on the Bahamas - I can't imagine how long it will take them to get anywhere close to 'normal.' 💔  

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 10 days ago

Funny but, I do the same thing, Lise Howe and just learned a new trick from a fellow-agent who helped me do an open today. He takes a wireless speaker and plays music from his phone at the open so that he doesn't have to worry about learning sellers' audio systems, etc. I thought that was a clever idea!

Good luck at your upcomig open!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 10 days ago

Funny but, I actually came up with the cinnamon/apple/pot-in-the-oven idea, Shirley Coomer, when I had my own house listed. I hate 'fake smells' so, I wanted so use something that took me less time than baking cookies! LOL

It is true, the senses buy - and not just the eyes! 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 10 days ago

It really is a subliminal thing, Carol Williams and if it's something that is 'loud' or personal, it becomes more of a conscious annoyance to buyers. I'm with you, too many agents/sellers think 'hip' music should be played; that's sadly, not true.

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 10 days ago

Thank you, Elise Rudarmel! I love that smell too - it is definitely enticing!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 10 days ago

Yes, experience does teach us a LOT, doesn't it, John Henry?! Not just the 'eye' buys!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 10 days ago

Hi Mike Frazier! You know, until I got into this business, I had no idea so many people were so averse to artificial scents. I remember one buyer saying to me, "When you preview, remember the smells I detest..." and she listed them all! So crazy but, it's a big thing for some! 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 10 days ago

Well, thank you, Richie Alan Naggar! I hope you're having an amazing weekend!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 10 days ago

Me either, Steffy Hristova! I love candles but, those fake plug-ins are a bit nauseating to me...and other buyers too!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 10 days ago

Thank you so much, Kathy Streib - all of them impact our buyers at one point or another during a showing. Why not go to all lenghts to appeal to the masses? 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 9 days ago

Hi Virginia Youngblood! You know, those smells are a BIG deal to so many buyers. Typically one buyer will complain but, sometimes both will notice and if both do, the house is OUT, no doubt about it!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 9 days ago

Well, thank you, Endre Barath, Jr.! We've seen it work time and time again and always educate our sellers on the benefits of appealing to all of their perspective buyers' senses.

Hope you and Diane are having a fabulous weekend!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 9 days ago

Thank you, Michael Fourte! Yes, the scents are a big deal to more people than I ever imagined it would be. 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 9 days ago

You're so right 1~Laura Filip! It's like making open houses events - it's important to make each and every showing an 'experience' for the buyers.

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 9 days ago

Thank you so much, Raymond Henson and welcome back to the Rain too! ☔️ 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 9 days ago

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