When you’re selling your home, there are a number of tricks you can use to make it stand out against the competition and draw buyers in. From staging to curb appeal, these small touches make viewers take notice, feel comfortable, and enable them to imagine their new life in your home.
One underrated tool at the disposal of sellers, is using smells and scents to help buyers feel at home, and more inclined to remember your home compared to others that they’ve viewed. But does it actually work, and if so, which scents are best? Let’s take a look below!
Removing the Bad Smells
Before we get to the good stuff, it’s worth mentioning that it’s essential to remove the bad smells in your home first and foremost. It goes without saying that one of the first things you need to do before opening your home to buyers is to give it a good, deep clean. You can’t simply mask bad smells with good, you need to eliminate the bad smells.
The most common sources of bad smells are upholstered furniture, carpets and rugs, curtains, and pets. It’s all too easy to become nose blind in your own home, so ask a good friend to give honest feedback about how your home smells after cleaning. Once the home is spotless, avoid cooking potent dishes before a viewing and be sure to keep on top of garbage.
There’s Method in This Madness
We’ve all experienced getting a whiff of a particular smell that takes us on an unexpected trip down memory lane, and there’s a biological reason for that. When a smell is inhaled, it is first processed by the olfactory bulb, which runs from your nose to the base of your brain. The olfactory bulb branches off, and directly connects to two areas of the brain that are linked to emotion and memory. None of the other five senses passes through these areas, which is perhaps why smells so effectively trigger memories and emotional responses.
Science out of the way, the cunning seller can use this information to play on subtle, psychological triggers when buyers come to visit. A buyer that feels calm and happy, is a buyer that is more likely to consider your home rather than one that smells less appealing. So, which smells are the most effective at triggering positive emotions?
The Top 5 Smells that Sell
Freshly baked bread
This classic cliche has to make the list, and though there are arguments against it, everyone loves the smell of baked goods. Stick to simple things, such as bread, cookies, and cupcakes, avoiding overly potent flavors. A touch of vanilla is always a good idea, as this sweet fragrance can help relieve stress and promote a calm environment. As an added bonus, you can leave out what you’ve baked for visitors to sample, or take home.
Jasmine is subtle and soothing, and sadly underrated. It helps promote a calm environment, making buyers feel at ease. It’s easily implemented by placing vases of the pretty white flowers in rooms such as bedrooms, the living room, and bathroom. It is far subtler than potpourri, and it doesn’t feel forced. In fact, many buyers will barely perceive it consciously, though it’s sure to have an effect subconsciously.
Lemon, orange, grapefruit, and lime are classic citrus fruits, with unmistakable scents. Studies show that the smell of lemon, in particular, is great for relieving stress, as well as boosting the mood. It’s clean without being cloying, and only the real deal will do — avoid overly sweetened artificial versions.
Pine and cinnamon
If the holidays are coming, pine and cinnamon are winter classics that never fail to put people in a festive mood. Evocative of mulled wine, evenings in front of the fireplace, and walks through the forest, both are great at promoting positivity. Again, avoid pine-scented cleaning products or air fresheners, as they are a world away from the real deal. Instead, hang pine wreaths in areas such as the hallway, or place bundles of cinnamon sticks on tables or shelves.
Nice and Clean
A clean home will normally smell good, but be careful that it doesn’t smell too strong. Dilute bleach, disinfectants, and other cleaning solutions so that they’re not overpowering, and use baking soda to help clean, while absorbing unwanted scents. Consider doing a load of laundry shortly before a viewing to give that wonderful warm and clean feeling.
Making your home smell great is easy when you know how to and the results can be amazing. Just make sure that all the bad odors are gone first, avoid overly obvious artificial scents, and remember that subtlety is the secret to success — don’t overdo it!