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The Secret to Maximum Real Estate Profits: Lighting

Lighting is the most important detail of interior Design Psychology for selling houses. Lighting influences a prospective buyer's feelings within a space more than any other interior design element. Therefore, it's worthwhile to give extra thought to lighting when selling your home.

Consider your selling season and local climate when choosing light bulbs and staging the natural daylight inside your home. Both factors will relate to your overall lighting design plan. Try to envision your final product as either a cooling desert oasis or a warm, sheltering refuge.

Selling Season

Calculate the time you'll need to get your home ready for sale, and then add on a few extra days for unexpected delays. Estimate your selling season, which is the time of year you'll be marketing your home, since this timeframe will establish the basis for your decorating choices and help you plan your lighting scheme.

Natural Day Light and Seasonal Lighting Patterns

Nature's natural daylight influences your selling season; people feel most comfortable in homes where the lighting mimics the natural outdoor setting. But natural daylight also changes the appearance of colors inside your house.

Northern light, mostly cool or downright cold, shines directly into your space for a limited time during the middle of summer. Warm colors, such as red, yellow or orange, counter the coolness of that light, and blues or greens make the room appear even cooler.

On the other hand, Southern light is warm and sunny, so you can get away with darker colors to create feelings of coziness and intimacy. Make south-facing rooms feel summery all year long with sea blues and greens.

Eastern light changes throughout the day. East-facing rooms have sunny mornings and muted mid-days, with no direct afternoon sunlight. Since most buyers preview homes later in the day, use warmer accents to counter the afternoon dreariness.

Western light provides late afternoon and evening sun, and your color choices depend on the selling season. Use neutrals or cool colors in western rooms to suggest relief from the heat, or use warm colors to enhance feelings of escape from the harsh outdoors.

Let the Sun Shine In

Because buyers feel happier in rooms with plenty of natural daylight, pull back all window coverings when you show your home. Closed-up houses feel stagnant and dark, which stifles the buyers' desire to look at your home for any length of time. For summer heat, light-filtering window treatments work better than room-darkening, heavy window dressings.

To enhance natural daylight, add daylight-mimicking light bulbs. Turn on all the lights when showing your home in the winter, and double check the feelings generated by the lighting in the summer. You can add blue or cold white light bulbs for feelings of coolness. Dimmer rooms give buyers feelings of refreshment on hot days.

Because lighting affects the way buyers will feel in your home more than any other design detail, you should consider the lighting in your home carefully before beginning to show it to prospective buyers. A little extra time and effort will net you more money at closing, and will sell your home faster.

(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

Professor Jeanette Fisher, author of Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars, Joy to the Home, and other books teaches Real Estate Investing and Design Psychology. For more articles, tips, reports, newsletters, and sales flyer template, see

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