Why the Scent in Your Home Matters When Trying to Sell

Alex is a home staging guru who moonlights as a writer. She loves everything about interior design and loves working in the industry. Alex is an expert in finding what makes people light up when they walk into a room, and has made a living by creating interiors that are unique, warm and inviting. When she isn’t arranging flowers or making sure she’s found the right loveseat for prospective buyers, she writes about her passion — home design.

When it Comes to Selling a Home, the Nose Knows

It might be common “scents,” but a home’s smell can have a serious impact on its odds of selling. After all, if you’re a buyer and you walk into a showing of a house that smells like old cat litter, that odor will likely be the impression that lasts. Offensive odors give buyers an immediate negative reaction, so you need to ensure all bad odors are eliminated before you open your home for tours.

However, many sellers will either use artificial fragrances to cover up unpleasant odors or they have too many different fragrances mixing at the same time. If you really want to sell with smell, there are some tricks to freshening up for buyers. Your first task? Deodorize your entire home.

fresh flowers in a bedroom

fresh flowers in a bedroom

How to Deodorize Your Home

When deodorizing your home, remember that you may be accustomed to how your house really smells. Have a friend come to your home and tell you what they smell and, more importantly, where. Prior to their visit, remove any artificial fragrances like scented candles or plug-in air fresheners so they can detect underlying odors.

Once you figure out where odors may be coming from, the next step is to eliminate the root cause of the problem. Some common odors you might encounter include cigarette smoke, pet odors, mildew, or unpleasant odors from an unclean home.

Here are some tips to help get rid of any pesky smells in your home:

  • Thoroughly clean the home (e.g., do the dishes, wash and put away the laundry, clean out the refrigerator, bleach sinks, etc.)
  • Wash all soft fabrics with cold water and two cups of vinegar (more than one washing may be required to get tough cigarette odors out)
  • Take any unwashable fabrics to the dry cleaners
  • Scrub hard surfaces down with a water and vinegar mix
  • Wash out all trash cans
  • Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and cloth furniture, let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming
  • Open the windows to ventilate the home
  • Look for leaks in the bathroom and fix any you find
  • Clean out all drains

Introduce Simple Smells to the Home

If you visit department stores around Christmas, they are usually scented like either pine or cinnamon. Such strong smells are alluring during the season, and entice shoppers to become buyers. Here are scents that are more simple and effective,  which is what you want when prepping your home.

incense helps room smell good

incense helps room smell good

Your home should feature one scent, not several. Too many can compete with one another, confusing the buyer and drawing attention from what your home has to offer.

The specific scent you choose for your home should also be carefully considered. Many believe that baking cookies or brewing coffee makes a home smell cozy and inviting, but while coffee and cookies may smell pleasant, they may not be the best for your home when it is being showed.

Experts say that baking soda can help diffuse odors, while citrus can make a kitchen more inviting. If you aren’t a fan of citrus, then you might want to choose a simple, clean smell or forego adding scent entirely if your home has no unpleasant odors. Whatever you choose, the trick is to keep it simple.

For More Information, Get the Free Home Selling Guide From Homes.com

If you want to sell your home, but you don’t know where to start or what to expect, then get the free How to Sell Your Home guide from Homes.com. It’s packed with everything you need to know about the selling process.

Leave a Reply