Cindy Lin, Founder, Staged4more

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How Smells Can Help Sell a Home Faster

How Smells Can Help Sell a Home Faster

If you are selling your home, then you will inevitably have people coming to your house during viewings to decide what they think of the property. It is important that your home looks neat and tidy and is attractive in every way to any potential buyers. This includes the smell.

Research conducted by Eric Spangenberg, dean of the college of business at Washington State University, found that some of the more common scents estate agents may turn to when prepping a home can actually put home buyers off.

Many people would assume that scents such as fresh bread or incense would be attractive to home buyers, but actually these complex smells can be a real distraction to people viewing properties, as they end up subconsciously paying attention to the scents instead of the property itself.

There are also certain smells that work well if congruent with the home, for example if you are selling a beach house, then the smell of the sea would work very well, but it wouldn’t fit in a town house. If you live in the countryside, the smell of hay bales would be a lovely addition, but for a city centre flat this would seem out of place.

Hunters Wetherby suggest 3 main things to remember when creating the perfect scent for your home:

Make it Simple

The study from Spangenberg found that simple smells sell.

A simple smell means that your brain is not likely to be overwhelmed and will therefore still be able to focus on the property that is being viewed. A home buyer should be focussing solely on whether they like the house they are looking round, not what the smell in the house is.

Whichever scent you use, make sure you limit it – less is more in this case.

Make Sure it’s Pleasant

These is nothing worse than being hit by an unpleasant smell, if you have ever walked through the perfume aisle of a department store, you will know that a strong and intense smell will instantly make you cringe and want to walk in the opposite direction.

Scents should be pleasant but faint, so they don’t take over your brain, but give a positive association to the house. If a scent is nice but not overpowering, the brain doesn’t need to go into overdrive trying to pinpoint exactly what it is.

Make it Consistent

Once you have decided on the scent you want to represent your house with, you need to keep it consistent. Evaluate your home surroundings, the time of the year and the buyers you are looking to attract, then keep to the same scent in every room.

The scent needs to fit with the house and it’s surrounding areas, while also complimenting the time of year (e.g. Don’t use cinnamon in summer or fresh flowers in winter) and match the potential buyer – you don’t want a feminine scent covering the property if you are trying to sell it to a group of guys.

The affects of aromas have always helped to subconsciously dictate the mind, so making sure you property smells right is really important.  Don’t get sucked into the “baked cookie” theory of real estate scents, it may just put potential buyers off. If you don’t know where to begin, try heading down the lemon and pine routes, these are always satisfying without becoming too overwhelming.

This is a guest post written by Cormac Reynolds. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Rickett.

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