The Subtle Scent of a Home Sale

What’s the first thing buyers notice when they walk into a prospective home? You may be surprised to learn that it isn’t the light or the space or even the gorgeous staging. It’s the smell. In fact, scent is so compelling in that some builders are even deploying scent marketing in their newly built condos; in other words, they’re cultivating scents that are desirable to home buyers.

For home sellers, this is excellent news. Tempting scents hardly cost a dime, and when combined with a strategic marketing plan the right scent can increase the chances of selling your home.

The Whiff of Welcome
Research suggests that the best scents for home selling are lemon, cedar, green tea, pine, basil, and vanilla. Scents in this category are light, clean, and neutral. They tend to invoke a positive feeling, as long as they don’t smell like cleaning products.
The worst scents for home selling include pet odors, potpourri, and surprisingly, baked goods. While you might adore the smell of Mom’s apple pie, most buyers have heard of the freshly-baked-cookies trick and might see it as just that. A deception.

The Secret Lies in Subtlety
The scents you select should smell like a natural breeze not like artificial perfume. Not sure how to achieve the barely there effect? Here are some tips:

  • Sprinkle baking soda on your carpets, leave for 15 minutes, then vacuum it up. Baking soda absorbs unpleasant smells and will leave your home with a neutral palette.
  • Wash curtains, bedding, and furniture coverings to remove lingering odors.
  • Remove food waste as quickly as possible so the smells don’t have time to permeate.
  • Open a window and allow fresh air to flow through your home
  • Avoid using air fresheners, incense, and candles – synthetic scents smell as though they are masking something and may turn off buyers who are allergic
  • Use freshly cut flowers, herbs, a bowl of lemons, or a gentle reed diffuser to make your home smell good naturally

Less is more in home staging, and you want your scent to sit on the very edge of the buyer’s perception, so they are not distracted from the task at hand: falling in love with your home.

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