What is good House Selling music?
March 3, 2008 9:14 AM   Subscribe

We're having an open house and other various viewings of our place and I was wondering what would be good 'open house' music to play? Preferably from iTunes Radio but other suggestions welcome
posted by royalchinook to Media & Arts (11 answers total)
Schubert and Chopin.
posted by momocrome at 9:19 AM on March 3, 2008

I would say none. The whole thing they always say about successfully "fluffing" your house is that you remove any of your own taste from it and make it sort of a blank slate that the buyer can picture him/herself in. I've never heard music playing in any of the open houses we've been to. I think music would be more of a distraction than the alleged feelings of "comfort" and "hominess" that the smell of baking bread or heating vanilla is supposed to give (although people are now saying not to do that either.)
posted by chococat at 9:28 AM on March 3, 2008

None. You run the risk of a potential buyer not liking the house because they dislike the music you're playing. Emotions play a big part in buying a home, even though they're not supposed to.
posted by bondcliff at 9:34 AM on March 3, 2008

Do you live in a completely generic suburb, where you might expect anyone and everyone to be interested in your place, or is there a particular demographic you might address? 'Cos personally I'd not be really jazzed by classical background music. Something swingier would be my preference, like Ella singing the Cole Porter songbook... I'm not finding a stream of its kind in the iTunes Radio listing... sheesh, when did all the streamed jazz become "smooth jazz" ?

But yeah, on preview, unless you can really nail down what your potential buyers like, you're probably best off just giving them the sounds of silence. Are you set dressing the place or what?
posted by mumkin at 9:41 AM on March 3, 2008

Smell not sound. I've always heard that the smell of baking cookies or cinnamon is great for open houses. So see if you can find some plug-ins of that type.

Also, if you have a computer in the home and it sounds like you do, then use the windows screen saver that you can put text into. Things like "welcome home...great neighborhood, new since 2007 are plumbing fixtures, windows, etc. make sure the screen doesn't shut off and just let the screen saver run your personal propaganda messages to sell your space.
posted by Jackie_Treehorn at 10:14 AM on March 3, 2008

I'd be incredibly annoyed by music in a house I'm considering buying, even if it were music I'd normally enjoy. I would not want to be distracted. It's a big decision; it's not like having Sunday brunch.
posted by desjardins at 10:20 AM on March 3, 2008

Smells? No way - I'd consider that a ruse for covering up odors. Similarly, I'd find music as a ploy to cover up something -- traffic noise, noisy plumbing, or the like.

I'm sure most sellers aren't necessarily trying to cover something up, but most buyers are looking at the house very critically. Or, like me, they're cynical bastards.
posted by GPF at 11:01 AM on March 3, 2008

I viewed a very modern, chic house in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It really stood out compared to the generic new houses and the old Victorian style homes with lots of wood, having angled glass, interior walls made of stone, really unusual design features. There was new age music playing softly in the background, a tabletop waterfall thing running, some very gentle incense burning (nothing strong). The lights were dramatically staged, indirect lighting, very subtle.

I was blown away. I loved that the owners took so much care with the staging, and thought that if they cared this much about presentation, they likely took good care of the rest of the house and would also be thorough in the transaction with me.

Contrast this with a beautiful farm house that I looked at, which smelled of cat piss and had cat litter scattered about the entry way. The house was gorgeous, but there was no way in hell I'd buy from these sellers because they didn't take even the basic step of cleaning up the cat piss.

Now, as far as taste goes, mine runs closer to the farm house end of the spectrum. I don't burn incense, I don't listen to new age music, and the modern look is a tad too sterile for me. But clearly, I would have bought the first house over the second in a heartbeat (if I hadn't found a more perfect match for me later, which was also immaculately staged).

So ... although my story is just n=1, I think that the conclusion I'd draw from it is to make the staging match the house. Clean, tidy, not quite empty, with accessories that match the style of the house. Attention to detail will go a very long way.
posted by Capri at 11:55 AM on March 3, 2008

Another vote for no music. Just like a good smell tipping off viewers that there might be a bad smell being covered up, music might make them suspicious of other noises (street, neighbours, creeping damp).
posted by Paid In Full at 12:43 PM on March 3, 2008

None, and I hope you aren't planning on being there during the showing, either. That can make it awkward for the potential buyers and it also may put you in a liability situation if they ask you something about the house that later turns out to not be the case. Let your agent handle it and let the inspector find any unknown defects (you are required to disclose known defects).

Also-- number one thing stolen from open houses? Prescription medications! Keep them out of the bathroom or any easily to see and steal place.
posted by 45moore45 at 2:07 PM on March 3, 2008

Response by poster: well well, I wasn't expecting that - it looks like no music is the way to go - thanks for the feedback!
posted by royalchinook at 4:44 PM on March 3, 2008

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