Using Scents to Help Sell Your Home

Never underestimate the power of an enticing aroma. Perhaps you've heard that smell can be the most evocative of the five senses, often bringing back a flood of nostalgia associated with an event or a location from one's past. It follows, then, that pleasant scents can lend to the allure of your house when you are trying to sell it. And it goes without saying that unpleasant, stale, or musty smells can cloud an overall perspective of even the loveliest home, relegating it to weeks stagnating on the market as prospective buyers stop by, wrinkle their noses, and move on.

In order to work properly, scents must be subtle and used sparingly. The cloying scent of an air freshener has nothing on the smell of fresh flowers in a vase on an end table or a spring breeze gently wafting through an open window. If you aim for pleasant rather than powerful, you're more likely to get it right.

So what are some strategies you can employ to keep your home smelling fresh? First of all, and this can't be emphasized enough, air it out. Everything from harsh cooking smells to laundry hampers to the musty, closed-off feeling of a home in the middle of winter can be off-putting. Even if it is the dead of winter, opening a window or two on each floor of your home for several minutes a day can pay dividends when a potential buyer arrives to take a look at the place. Better yet if it's springtime or summer and you can really give your home a good airing-out. 

Make sure that drains and garbage disposals aren't emitting any unpleasant smells. Running half a lemon or orange through a garbage disposal and flushing pipes with plenty of clean water can eliminate odors without harsh chemicals or a residual smell of bleach. Clean carefully in areas frequented by pets, and make sure trash receptacles and diaper pails aren't exuding any unpleasant smells.

Candles should be used judiciously before a showing, but the scent of freshly-clean laundry is always appealing. Likewise, flowers should be limited to the less pungent varieties – but they remain a great bet not only for their smell, but because they add a fresh and pleasant visual aesthetic to a home. 

There's a reason that many real estate agents recommend serving freshly-baked cookies at open houses: cookies smell home-y. And what sense do you want a prospective buyer to walk away with? The feeling that he or she could make your house a true home.

Seasonal scents can also be appealing, from apple- and pumpkin-scented candles in the autumn to floral notes in the spring. During the holiday season, the scent of evergreen generated by a few fresh boughs can be pleasing, although be forewarned that not every visitor to your home may associate Christmas-y scents with the holidays he or she celebrates. It's always best not to overdo.

Using a judicious approach to selling with scents can work wonders to a potential buyer who wants to feel what it would be like to live in your home. By eliminating the unpleasant odors and introducing some subtle aromas, you could find that your home sells in no time.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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