How the right scent can help sell your home

There are many things to consider when preparing your home for sale: curb appeal, landscaping, and staging the house both inside and out. But one element that has the ability to either excite buyers, or turn them off, is the scents that greet them when they first visit.

A well-chosen, subtle scent can create an inviting atmosphere and set the tone for a positive experience. Here’s how to choose the right scent for your home that will send out the right signals and help boost your chances for a positive buyer experience.

To ensure a pleasing scent, it’s important to start out by ensuring that your home is free of off-putting smells that can arise from soiled carpets, pet odors, water or mildew issues and other similar issues. Neutralize odors by deep cleaning carpets, drapes and furniture. If the weather cooperates, open windows throughout your home to allow fresh breezes to circulate. Remove heavily scented diffusers, candles and potpourri that may overpower people with allergies or who are sensitive. And clean pet beds and litter boxes frequently.

When applying scent to your home for sale, a little strategy and a lot of common sense will help you choose the right approach that will best appeal to potential buyers and create a positive experience.

Complex scents, even if they’re pleasant, can be a distraction because often people will subconsciously dedicate time and energy to figuring out what the aroma is. During open houses, you want visitors to contemplate the attributes of the home, not spend their time debating what the scents are. Simple scents, such as citrus, vanilla or lavender, are universally appealing and easy to identify, making them less distracting.

In the past, sellers would have a batch of cookies baking in the oven during open houses on the advice of their Realtors. This also falls under the “too much” category, as many people with food allergies or sensitivities might be turned off by this, while others will fixate on their stomachs and not the home.

And last, but not least, be sure that the scents you employ match the location and character of your home. For instance, pine scents make sense in a mountain home, but not so much in a beachside retreat. Remember to stick with simple, subtle scents in a clean home and you’ll be sure to support a positive sensory experience for potential buyers.