We all have certain scents that trigger fond memories - the smell of fresh baked apple pie reminds me of my grandmas house; freshly cut lawns bring to mind summer days sitting on the porch with my dad drinking ice cold sweet tea... Smells like vanilla, citrus, cinammon, or pine are scientifically proven to have a calming effect on most people. So how can we use this to our advantage when showing homes?
Bake something yummy - If you have the time or enough advanced notice for a showing, pop open a roll of cookie dough or a frozen apple pie and throw it in the oven. Nobody has to know you didn't freshly bake anything, it all smells the same! The smell of warm baked goods will instantly help your buyers feel relaxed and comfortable upon entering the home. Without even realizing it, their brains will start to recall times spent with family eating those types of delicious treats! This tactic is probably best saved for those open houses, though, so you can get the most out of your efforts.
Diffuse some oils or light some candles - This takes virtually no time at all to accomplish! Encourage the seller of the property to invest in a few high quality aromatherapy candles or oil diffusers - they can take them when they move so it's no loss to them - and request for the seller to turn them on a few minutes before the scheduled showing. It doesn't take long for these fantastic smells to premeate the house and give the space a clean, inviting scent when you walk in the door. **I hope this goes without saying, but always practice fire safety, kids. The smell of burning curtains will NOT attract buyers**
Use the season to your advantage - In the summertime, people are more likely to respond to crisp, clean, refreshing aromas like citrus or fruit blends. Spring is when all the flowers come back to say hello, so look into some nice jasmine or lavendar floral scents. In the winter, the warm smell of cinammon and cloves can help people feel more at home. Pine is a smell that reminds most of us of Christmases spent with loved ones, so around the holidays, amp it up with a pine oil diffuser!
Get creative - Some people may not want to mess with candles or diffusers, but still want to be sure that their property smells fantastic for their potential buyers. Simple things like throwing a quartered lemon or lime into the garbage disposal can help a kitchen smell great. Purchase some scented trash bags for a subdued whiff of lavendar that will also cover up any bad garbage smells. If those fancy scented oils are a little too pricey, there are dozens of DIY recipes online that you could put together with things you likely have sititng in the kitchen right now. There are even motion activated air freshener sprayers that will puff a strategic whiff of goodness in the direction of a passer-by!
It may not seem like it makes that much of a difference, but when all other things are the same, that little extra boost can be the deciding factor! It's much better to be the agent for that awesome house that smelled like cinammon than that one that was really pretty but stank of old socks....