Can Smells Lead to Home Sales?

A home's smell may be more important than you think.

A home’s smell may be more important than you think.

Sell a Home Faster?

If you’re selling a home, chances are you’ve been coached by friends, colleagues, or a real estate agent in methods to make the property seem as appealing as possible to potential buyers. You’re wise to do so. Research proves staging a home will make it sell faster, and in many cases, will sell for more money.

One of the “oldest tricks in the book” however, has nothing to do with the physical impressions of a home, but rather the other senses a potential buyer encounters while walking through the property – smell.

Choose Scents Wisely

Before moving onto the ways you can use smell to your advantage, it’s wise to think about which you don’t want wafting through the air.

  • Pets Odors are notoriously difficult to neutralize, but you must get these under control. Sometimes this may involve new carpeting or somewhat pricey treatments, but if the home smells good, you’re likely to make up the out-of-pocket costs when it comes to closing.
  • Cigarette Smoke: Again, this odor can be extremely difficult to hide. Air duct cleaning, new carpeting, and possibly replacing blankets, comforters and other things that may have absorbed odors can be worth your time and effort. You may also choose to run an air filter for a couple of weeks to help eliminate odors. In the meantime, smoke outside.

One of the best pieces of advice may be to get a friend to stop by, take a whiff and give an honest opinion on your home’s odor. Then, do your research and manage them. Be sure you give yourself enough time: if you carpet truly needs replacing, you may want to hold off on listing your home.

What should your home smell like?

Many real estate agents hold it to common knowledge that certain scents, like baked goods such as cookies, will sell a home faster. However, recent research proves otherwise.

Eric Spangenberg of the college of business at Washington State University, conducted a study on the effects of various aromas on buying behaviors. The results appeared in the Journal of Retailing. Spangenberg and his team discovered that complex scents, like cookies or potpourri or other heavy scents, are actually distracting to consumers and disrupt the ability to make decisions quickly. Their study in a Swiss store found shoppers spent nearly 32 percent more when the store was scented with a simple scent.

Try these scents:

  • Lemon
  • Citrus
  • Pine (when seasonal)






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