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Can background music help to sell your home?

Are people viewing properties influenced by the music they hear during the viewing? Big Spender and they might make an offer? Heartbreak Hotel and they might give the property a miss?

It sounds absurd on the face of it, but if cut flowers and freshly-baked bread can make a property more attractive to buyers, then why wouldn’t the right choice of music have the same effect?

Consumers the world over are influenced by what would seem, on the surface, to be mere extraneous factors. Some Australian research published in the Journal of Retailing last year, found that diners in a restaurant were likely to spend more money if there was classy background music – the music subliminally added value to the product on offer. And it is not unreasonable to assume that people looking around their prospective homes may experience similar impulses.

The right music, like the right lighting, creates a feel-good mood and makes people viewing a property feel at home, even if they have only been in the home for five or 10 minutes.

So which music should you play in the background to maximise the chances of a sale? It may seem to be largely a matter of personal taste, but there are certain obvious guidelines worth following.

First, be wary of bombarding viewers with your favourite songs. We have all been to bars where the customers are driven to distraction by the wrong music played at the wrong volume by a tone-deaf barista. So there needs to be some attempt to match the property being shown with the people viewing it.

Classical or modern? If the property has a grand Regency drawing-room where you can imagine the owner playing Schubert on the grand piano, perhaps classical gets the nod. Yet for many of our clients, classical can also mean slightly stuffy. They want something more appropriate to a fully functioning 21st-century home.

How old are the people viewing the property? If they are under forty, Ed Sheeran might do the trick. Or Justin Bieber, at a pinch. If they are over sixty, the Beatles will stir happy memories of their youth. Over seventy, and we might even be thinking Bing Crosby, particularly with Christmas approaching.

As for styles, upbeat obviously beats downbeat. Nobody is going to be persuaded to spend thousands on a property if they have just been subjected to a gloomy song. Jazz usually works, because people associate it with good taste. Opera? Not in a million years. The soprano might hit a high C just at the wrong moment.

Perhaps the key word is soothing. You are not trying to overwhelm the prospective owner with the music you are playing: you are just trying to make them feel at home, one note at a time. If they can imagine relaxing in the property during the evening, as the cares of the world recede, then the sweeter sounds might just work. You will also have had a lot of fun along the way.

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The Henry & James play-list 

We all have our favourite tracks, and the team at Henry & James are no exception. Here are a few of our personal favourites.

  • James Bailey (Chief Executive) – Mumford and Sons, The Cave
  • Hannah Wilson (PA) – Coldplay, Miracles
  • Rosie Szabo (Senior Administrator) – Jessie Ware, Wildest Moments
  • Steve Cook (Head of Lettings and Management) – Gregory Porter, Hey Laura
  • Charles Sheldon (Senior Sales Negotiator) – Elton John, Tiny Dancer
  • Fiona Patty (Lettings Negotiator) – Sam Smith, I’m Not the Only One 
  • Harry Berry (Sales Manager) – Ludovico Einaudi, Divenire
  • Luke Gilbey (Senior Property Manager) – Commodores, Nightshift
  • Katie Kay (Lettings Negotiator) – Fleetwood Mac, Everywhere

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