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Scents That Sell--The Best and Worst Home Fragrances

It's happened to us all...we've been walking down the street and a familiar perfume or food smell has hit us and transported us to another place and time.

Scent is the sense most closely linked with memory and is an incredibly powerful selling tool for your house. Your home's smell should be attractive, uplifting and pleasant for interested buyers.

There are 3 Key Principles to help make your home's scent more marketable:

1. Get To The Root Of The Cause. If your home has an unpleasant smell (ask a friend or neighbor to tell you their honest first impression), do not try to cover it up with more fragrance; buyers will not be fooled. Instead, pinpoint the problem and have it corrected: shampoo carpets and upholstery, dry clean draperies, take apart the garbage disposal--whatever it takes. Once the house has a neutral smell, you can go about wooing buyers with pleasant, strategic scents.

2. Keep It Simple. When choosing a fragrance, go with something simple--researcher Eric Spangenberg found that shoppers spent 31.8% more time browsing when a store used a pure, uncomplicated fragrance such as orange instead of a blend of orange/basil and green tea. Subconsciously, our brains work to analyze the scents we encounter which can be distracting. For this reason, it is recommended that sellers steer clear of otherwise appealing food scents and complex fragrances to keep buyers focused on your home and not where those delicious cookies they smell are hiding.

3. Sensible Scents. Choose a scent that fits with the location, style and feel of your home and adjust accordingly for different seasons. For example, a crisp pine scent is logical in a rustic home, or around the holidays, but will not make sense in the middle of July in downtown Burlington. Also, be aware of the buyers who are visiting and try to pick scents that will be universally appealing across age groups and genders. Fragrances such as vanilla, citrus or lavender tend to be well received by the vast majority. Of course, steer clear of anything overpowering or unusual and remember that just because a scent is your personal favorite, does not mean it will be equally appreciated by visitors. Also bear in mind that while different rooms should have different smells, do not create a situation where scents are competing and become a hindrance rather than an improvement.


These principles bring us to the million dollar question...Which scents should you choose and which should you avoid?


Choose: Lemon, Green Tea, Cedar, Pine, Basil & Vanilla as they are all simple, universally appealing and will not distract buyers from their mission.

Avoid: Potpurri, Gourmet Foods, Chocolate Chip Cookies/Baked Goods because they are all complex and distracting. You don't want buyers to be more fixated on their stomachs than on your home so reserve these scents for friends and family only.



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