When it comes to creating an inviting atmosphere, the way a house smells is a really important aspect. When a guest enters your home for the first time, the scents they encounter can certainly make a lasting first impression, either for good or for bad. The smells they take in can play a significant role in determining how long they’ll want to stick around, and whether or not they’ll want to return in the future.
The scent of a home can evoke emotions and leave a lasting impression on potential buyers, just as it does on guests. Harnessing the power of scent can help create a warm and welcoming ambience that entices home buyers and puts them in a positive and receptive frame of mind. If you’re preparing your home for sale during this summer season of home buying, then you’ll want to follow these top tips for making your house or apartment smell delightful, as well as know which scents to avoid.
Tidying Up for Fresher Air and Better First Impressions
Of course, the best way to have a fresh-smelling house is to have a clean house! If you really want to create a positive first impression for anyone’s nose, you should start by cleaning thoroughly. As you’re cleaning, try and air out the whole house if possible. Open boxes of baking soda and fresh ground coffee make great deodorizers that actually help to absorb foul smells. Simply lighting a match can do wonders, too. Clean all the bedding, including mattress covers and pillow protectors, and be sure to deodorize (or replace) the mattresses and pillows themselves, too. Pack up all the clothing, coats, towels, and other linens you don’t use regularly and store them someplace where they won’t affect the smell factor of your home. Freshly launder everything else.
Vacuum and dust every nook and cranny, including vent fans and grills, under area rugs, and around doors, windows, baseboards, and trim. Don’t forget other places where dust tends to collect, such as shelves, closets, bed frames, and under the bed. And be sure to change all of your A/C filters, dusting or vacuum off the air intake grills as you do.
Thoroughly clean and sanitize bathrooms, especially around the back of the toilets and inside of any medicine cabinets. Take down and wash the light fixtures, and add fresh, bright light bulbs. Take down and clean the window treatments or have them cleaned. Deodorize the garbage cans, spice cabinet, drawers, and all the appliances – especially if they’re going to be included with the house. And if at all possible, avoid cooking anything that carries potent smells!
Of course, you’ll want to pay special attention to any pet areas, including bedding, food areas, and the cat’s litter box (if you have one). Don’t forget about pet carriers, garments, and leashes, too. Use the vacuum liberally to remove any hair and dander, and also use cleaning products that are designed to neutralize pet odors, not just mask them.
Introduce Fresh & Clean Scents
Once you have a fresh olfactory slate to work with, there are some tried-and-true scents to use for helping to sell a house.
- Smells that convey cleanliness: Opt for fresh, crisp scents like citrus or linen. Lemons, oranges, or grapefruits can be used as natural air fresheners, or use citrus-scented candles (like our Rejuvenate candle) to create a refreshing ambience that leaves potential buyers feeling invigorated. A bowl of citrus fruit can also provide a visual cue.
- Scents that embrace warmth and comfort: Scents like vanilla evoke a sense of coziness and homey warmth. Vanilla-scented candles (such as our Encounters candle) or reed diffusers will create an inviting atmosphere that makes potential buyers feel instantly comfortable and at ease.
- Smells that add a natural touch: Bringing a touch of nature indoors can create a soothing and refreshing atmosphere. Scents like pine or cedar evoke the essence of a peaceful forest, creating a connection with nature and appealing to potential buyers' desire for a serene living environment. Try our Embrace candle to create this feeling in your home.
Scents to Avoid
While pleasant scents can enhance the selling process, it's crucial to be mindful of scents that may hinder the sale of your home. Avoid using heavy or overwhelming fragrances that may trigger allergies or sensitive reactions. Steer clear of overly floral or musky scents, as they may not appeal to everyone's preferences. Additionally, avoid using artificial air fresheners; they can be overbearing, and they can also make smart buyers suspect that you’re obviously trying to mask bad odors. Heavily-scented cleaning products can also create an artificial and potentially off-putting atmosphere. Finally, lavender is a lovely scent to use when you’re trying to fall asleep, but it’s really not the best option to use for keeping a potential buyer awake and interested in your house!
Whatever scents you choose, just make sure to keep the fragrance light. In this instance, less is much, much more. Also, bear in mind that we acclimate to scents over a short period of time, so any scent can quickly become less noticeable. Reed diffusers and potpourri bowls can be a useful source of pleasant scents. Scented candles are a good choice too because they help keep a constant level of scent in the surrounding air. Our line of hand-poured wax candles with various natural scent blends would be perfect for placing all around the house. These candles smell fantastic and are sure to freshen up any room, even without being lit!
Finally, once you think you have everything ready to go, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion. Invite a friend or two over and ask what they think! And always, you’re invited to leave us a comment below and let us know how everything goes for you!