Those of you who are selling or thinking of selling your home in this crazy spring real estate market, listen up — people buy on emotion, so you must make potential buyers fall in love with your space. Funny enough, there’s a new TV show called Date My House, which aims to get a “buyer or dater” emotionally attached to a house and buy it.

No surprise that first impressions count big time when it comes to viewing a property for sale. Buyers’ senses are acutely active, so your home will be remembered (or not) for the right or wrong reasons. Here are my do-it-yourself staging suggestions to make your home desirable:

>> For curb appeal, rake those leaves, trim back bushes, turn over soil, plant flowers and paint out rusted rails.

>> Make sure the doorbell or knocker is working. Door hardware must be clean and functional, and having a fresh welcoming mat is a nice touch.

>> Do a smell test after be­ing outdoors when your sense of smell is heightened. If you smell mould, staleness, smoke or pet od­ours you must neutralize the smell. Scented candles are not a good solution.

>> If your home is on a noisy street, do not keep the windows open when showing the property, and have soft music playing low in the background.

>> Depersonalize the space by removing trophies, odd collections, family photos, pets and paraphernalia.

>> Find a new home for clutter, i.e., arrange for a charity to pick up usable items.

>> Pack up or pitch excess such as ratty furniture and the contents of overflowing closets and cupboards.

>> A fresh coat of neutral paint is always a good idea. But if time and money are issues, wash walls to remove fingerprints and just touch up the odd spot.

>> Bring the light in. Open blinds and move obstructions from in front of the windows. Wash windows. Change burned bulbs. If there’s still not enough light, add ambience lighting where possible.

>> Zone rooms for specific functions, and place furniture accordingly. If you’re short on furniture, rent or buy a piece or two.

>> Add a splash of colour to each room with throws, artwork, pillows, books and other tchotchkes. Use things you already have, but try putting them in a different setting.

Brenda Borenstein is your professional organizing guru. Look for her column every second Thursday. For more, visit

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