As you’re probably already aware, the way a house smells is a really important aspect of defining a home’s atmosphere. 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. If you want to create a welcoming environment for your guests, you want the first whiff they encounter inside your home to be a positive experience for them. The smells your guests take in 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. And what’s true for your guests, is even more true for any of your prospective home buyers!
Tidying Up for Fresher Air and Better First Impressions
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 that might enter your home, you should start by cleaning. 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 also 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 & Wash Everything
Vacuum and dust every nook and cranny, including vent fans and grilles, under area rugs, and around doors, windows, baseboards, and trim. Don’t forget other places that dust likes to collect, including shelves, closets, bed frames, and under the bed. Here’s another pro-tip for improving the quality and smell of your interior air, too – make sure to change all of your A/C filters. And while you’re changing those air filters, be sure to dust or vacuum off the air intake grills, as well.
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, including vanilla, citrus (like orange or lemon), and other clean, fresh scents. Cilantro and cucumber are also good, as are aromatic kitchen herbs such as thyme or rosemary. Earthy, woodsy scents like cedar or rosewood tend to well-received, too. Avoid using heavy air fresheners; they can be overbearing, and they can also make smart buyers suspect that you’re obviously trying to mask bad odors. And 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 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. In fact, we’ve recently released a new line of hand-poured wax candles with various natural scent blends that 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!