When selling your home, you’ll put in a lot of time and effort into making it attractive to potential buyers. From painting the walls to decluttering, your goal is to make your house more visually appealing. However, it’s important not to neglect another one of your senses: smell.
The smell of your home can impact how a buyer perceives it. Follow these steps to help prospective buyers smell the sweet scent of home during showings and open houses.
Eliminate unwanted odors
Strong smells can distract buyers from being able to imagine themselves living in your home. Remember, as the homeowner, you may have grown accustomed to these smells. The first step to eliminating odors before showing your home is to give the house a thorough cleaning from top to bottom. Try to wash or vacuum all fabric items, from bedding to curtains. If the temperature allows it, open the windows and air out your home each day leading up to the showing.
Regardless of the type of pet you have, their smell can linger in everything from carpets and rugs to furniture. Remove any dog beds or litter boxes before a showing. While there are plenty of products that claim to remove pet smells from your home, they may just mask the smell. Instead, try using baking soda on carpets and furniture by following these steps:
- Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the area.
- Allow it to sit for a couple of hours.
- Vacuum up the baking soda.
If your carpets and furniture have strong pet odors, you may need to have them professionally steam-cleaned.
Try to avoid cooking anything with a pungent aroma like fish or other meats, if you have showings scheduled. These scents can linger in your home for days and can leave a buyer more focused on a growling stomach than your home. If you have spices in your kitchen, make sure they’re stored in tightly sealed containers. Finally, try not to keep smelly leftovers or expired food in your fridge just in case a viewer looks inside. A fresh box of baking soda can help reduce unpleasant odor inside your refrigerator.
Other areas of the home
There may be items throughout the rest of your home that produce an unpleasant odor, but the following tips will help eliminate any unwanted smells:
- Wash out all trash cans.
- Clean out all drains and the garbage disposal.
- Avoid letting dirty laundry sit out.
- Keep stinky shoes out of sight.
- Remove any item that has a particularly strong odor.
Pick the right scents
While some fragrances like fresh-baked cookies or recently brewed coffee seem like welcoming smells, they might be more distracting. A Washington State University study found that simple odors were less distracting and could lead to increased sales. These scents include vanilla, cedar, cinnamon, citrus, green tea, herbs, and pine.
One of the best ways to help add these fragrances to your home is with an essential oil diffuser. While candles, plug-ins, and air fresheners may create an overwhelming smell for some potential buyers, adding a couple drops of essential oil to a diffuser a few hours before a showing can give your home a more pleasant aroma. Remember to use only one scent in your home if possible. A blend of several fragrances may distract homebuyers when they’re inside your home.
Make it fit your home
Having a scent that fits your home is an important part of the process. Pine is a welcoming smell, but it might not be the right choice for your house. Pine does fit well for a rustic home in the mountains or woods, while citrus or herbs would be a better fit for a home by the ocean. Also consider the time of year you’re selling your home, as cinnamon and pine are welcoming scents in the winter, while citrus is an appropriate aroma for the summer months.
You put a lot of time and effort into making your home stand out. By following these tips, you can help it smell as good as it looks.