Broker's Playbook - Good For Real Estate



The best scent to sell a house

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At times, the amount of detail required for staging when you sell houses can seem a bit much. Does it really make a difference what colours my walls are, or what music I may be playing? For people viewing the home? Well, actually, yes!

Human senses can be incredibly sensitive and can influence our decisions greatly, even if it doesn’t seem obvious on the surface. It’s the same principle that makes stores or restaurants pay so much attention to their choice of music or lighting and the same reason why product packaging is such an art form despite having little to do with the function of the product.

A home is a product that you are selling and the context that you can put that product in and the way you make your customers feel about it can actually do a lot to influence their feelings.

So you’ve cleaned, got all your walls painted in the perfect colour, curated the perfect furniture and decorations, and set everything up just right. Now you’re done! Or are you?

Well, if you want to go the extra mile, there is even more you can do to take your staging a step further. Today we are going to look at one such thing, that being the smell of your home.

Powerful smells

The fact is, smells can be one of the most powerful senses when it comes to how people feel about your house. From the smell of freshly baked bread to the smell of a landfill, many emotions can be evoked by the right scent. So, it’s really important that you consider the smell in your home when you are trying to sell.

Clean and remove unpleasant scents

First of all, you should make an effort when cleaning your home to clear out any bad smells that may linger. Areas like the bathroom and the kitchen will be especially important for this as they tend to have strong scents like smells from cooked food.

This also means that you should consider the cleaning materials you are using. If you need powerful cleaning solutions to clean a particularly dirty spot, these may not smell great, so try to finish off with a more pleasant smelling product. Baking soda can be a lifesaver for its neutral scent and ability to absorb unwanted odours. Ideally, you want your home to be a blank canvas that you can then build upon.

Citrus scent in beautifully staged home setting for effective house selling

Popular fresh scents for homes

So now your whole house is clean and hopefully smelling neutral, now you may be wondering where to go from here. Let’s look at some of the most popular scents you should consider.

In general, there is a fine line when it comes to scents. You don’t want anything that is too overpowering as this can be off-putting as well as being an accessibility issue for people with scent sensitivities. However, you also want to actually smell the scent that you chose. Generally, simple scents that are subtle will be the best bet.


When it comes to home scents, citrus is undoubtedly one of the most popular. Be it lemon, orange, or any other, these scents offer a pleasantly sweet fragrance that calls to mind tropical destinations and summer sunshine. However, as a common scent in cleaning products, it can be easy to veer into the realm of artificial or overpowering citrus scents that will mostly call to mind washing dishes. Whenever possible, go for a more subtle and natural source for these scents.

Pine and cedar

These scents can evoke the feeling of time outdoors, of a cozy cabin, or of Christmas trees. Like most other natural scents, the aroma of these trees is produced by many complex organic scent compounds and the artificial version just won’t cut it, so stick to natural scents whenever possible.


Vanilla is a classic ingredient in baking and sweet treats and can give your house a similar pleasant smell. Vanilla can also be a very calming scent that can help with a comfortable mood.

Fresh linens

Strangely enough, the clean smell of fresh linens is consistently cited as one of the best smells, though it is hard to say what it actually smells like. However, it may be worth doing a load of fresh laundry just before your open house and cleaning all the linens that prospective buyers may come in contact with. Alternatively, there are actually linen scented products you may want to buy.

the scent from a few cinnamon sticks can be very pleasant and warm, especially in the winter months.

Spices and herbs

There are a number of spices and herbs that may fit with your home that potential buyers will love. For example, the scent from a few cinnamon sticks can be very pleasant and warm, especially in the winter months. You can also consider scents from potted herbs like rosemary, lavender, or mint. These will add a touch of life to your space and provide a pleasant smell.

Match the scent to the space

When it comes to choosing a scent to go with, you want something that fits the vibe of your space. If it’s a cozy home with lots of exposed wood, consider a pine or cedar scent to really drive home that cabin feel. If you are selling a home that features a lot of floral landscaping outside, consider using a more flowery scent inside to reflect that. These are only suggestions, and this step may take a bit of creativity on your part, but the right scent should be the one that amplifies the feelings you want the home to convey.

Also, consider the seasonal aspect of smells. In the fall and winter, people may want to smell more spicy and warm scents while in the spring and summer you may want to go with brighter floral or citrus scents.

What products to use

In terms of getting the smell in your home, you have a few options. Avoid air freshener sprays, as these often have overpowering smells to start that then quickly dissipate. Instead go for longer-lasting sources like scented candles, or a few drops of essential oil in a diffuser. When it comes time to have a showing, open the windows shortly before to let the fresh air in, then set up your scents just before prospective buyers are set to arrive. Now your showing should not only look good but smell great too!