What You Should Know About Using Scents to Help Market Your Real Estate Listing

by Sheena White
Air Freshener Scents for Real Estate Listings

Walking into a house and smelling the sweet aroma of freshly baked cookies is supposed to make you feel at home, right?

Turns out that this long-held strategy for making homes appear “homier” is actually backfiring.

Sellers and real estate agents, alike, obviously want to do everything they can to encourage potential buyers to fall in love with a space.

And while this typically means hiring someone who specializes in staging to come and “stage” the home to sell, it also means paying attention to the way the home smells. (This is especially important if the current homeowner is a smoker or pet owner.)

That said, it’s important to pick the right scents! You certainly don’t want to select an aroma that’s polarizing.

In fact, research actually suggests that some of the most common scents that real estate professionals choose when staging homes to sell, like the aroma of freshly baked cookies, can actually turn off potential buyers.

Here are a few general guidelines to help you select the right scents for your next showing.

Choose Easy-to-Recognize Scents

According to studies, the worst scents you can pick are potpourri, chocolate-chip cookies, gourmet foods, and other baked goods.

Researcher Eric Spangenberg, dean of the college of business at Washington State University, says that the problem with baked goods is that they can actually distract the potential buyers. Since the scents are more complex, people will be subconsciously trying to figure out what they’re smelling, as opposed to being entirely focused on the home they’re touring.

Simpler, easily recognizable scents like peppermint, lemon, green tea, cedar, pine, basil, and vanilla are better choices since they’re easier to process and less distracting.

Consider Allergies

It’s becoming more and more common for people to have allergic reactions to the synthetic, scented products sold at the grocery store.

This is definitely something you need to consider before showing a house. With every showing, the likelihood of encountering a potential buyer with allergies increases.

It’s better to choose a clean-smelling, all-natural fragrance that won’t leave potential buyers with a long-lasting, negative experience.

Choose a Long-Lasting Fragrance

While we’re already discussed the fact that complex scents like freshly baked cookies are distracting, there’s another problem they present: they’re short-lived.

For most sellers, the selling process is a long one that involves multiple showings over the course of weeks, even months (obviously depending on how you’ve priced the property).

You need your home to smell clean and fragrant all the time in case potential buyers come by to view the home during the day when you’re not there.

That’s why a plug in warmer is the simplest solution (one that isn’t full of chemicals that could eventually cause an allergic reaction).

Final Thoughts

So whether you’re a real estate agent representing a seller or the homeowner yourself, it’s important to be careful selecting the right fragrance for staging a home.

Some general guidelines are:

  • Choose a simple, easy-to-recognize fragrance
  • Go all-natural (avoid synthetics that can cause allergic reactions)
  • Choose a plug in warmer that will be ready for showings at any time

What other advice would you give a home owner? We would love to hear what you’ve done in the past! Please share in the comments below.

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