In some ways shopping for a new home can be a little like online dating– when you go from pictures and descriptions to a real-life encounter, first impressions are everything. When you are selling your home you want the prospective buyer to walk in the door and have an instant positive reaction. Here are four tips for setting the mood when showing your home:

When buyers walk into your home, they should feel comfortable, they should feel welcome, and they should feel at home. Although your house, its features and your staging techniques will go a long way to accomplish these goals, it also never hurts to help set the mood. Here’s what you can do:

  1. If the weather is warm, make sure the house is cool and the windows are closed. A quiet, cool home is a welcomed change on a hot day with outside noise. In fact, buyers are more likely to stay longer if they feel comfortable in your home! If weather permits, light the fireplace and create instant ambiance, or if the weather is fair, take the opportunity to open the windows and let the fresh air circulate throughout your home.
  2. Make sure your home is bright and inviting. Therefore, open the blinds and throw open the curtains to let the sun shine in. Turn on lights throughout the home so your home appears brighter, larger and more inviting. Light a few candles (make sure you inform the Realtor you have done this) and, if the showing is during the evening, turn on all outdoor and landscape lighting.
  3. Don’t overwhelm your buyers with strong scents, but do consider lightly scented candles and potpourri to sweetly scent the air. Make sure the trash is emptied and the cat’s litter box is hidden to eliminate any undesirable scents. And, by all means, don’t smoke in the house! Many sellers have also considered baking chocolate chip cookies or similar treats before a showing to fill their homes with a scent that appeals to the masses.
  4. Stay seasonal and get buyers in the mood with seasonally inspired touches. During the summer, set glass bowls with sea shells in the entry and fill a kitchen vase with summer blooms. In the fall, create a centerpiece with acorns and pine cones and bring in sprigs of late-blooming bushes for an added touch of autumn.