How to Make a Home Smell Great for Showing to Sell

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One overlooked detail for showing a home that is up for sale is the power of the sense of smell. When you are showing your house for sale, it is important to make the best impression possible particularly when there are many homes for sale competing for buyers. Most people know the visuals count, like painting or keeping things tidy and well lit. Smell is a more subtle way to make a statement but it can also be one that touches something deeper, the feeling of being home which is how you want buyers to feel. Try some of these methods to make your house showing an all around positive sensory experience for potential buyers. It will leave them with a good feeling.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • Steam cleaner
  • Oven and stove
  • Pot
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Chocolate
  • Fresh flowers
  • Fresh baked cookies or bread
  • Fresh herbs
  • Clean the house completely, not just visually but with your nose. You may be used to the smells in your house and not even notice something that may smell strong and offensive to someone else. Begin by vacuuming everything, including the furniture. Empty all your garbage cans and waste baskets into the outside garbage can. Empty and clean out the diaper pail if you have children in diapers. Clean all the pet areas, like cages and litter boxes. In fact, if the showing is going to be shorter, remove the litter box completely from the inside of the house during the showing. Steam clean the cushioned chairs and furniture, especially if you have pets or if you smoke. Clean the kitchens and bathrooms and air them out if you can. Get rid of ash trays and cigarette butts if you are a smoker. Consider getting drapes washed or dry cleaned. After this is all done, open the windows and air the house out.

  • Bake something that smells wonderful just before the house is shown. Baked cookies with cinnamon or chocolate leave a great aroma in the house. Baked bread works well too. Make a sauce with fresh herbs and let it simmer just before they arrive so the rich smells permeate the air.

  • Set up a couple potpourri pots around the house or heat some apple juice in a pot on the stove and throw in apple slices, orange slices, lemon slices or lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Let it simmer for awhile so the smell has a chance to spread throughout the house.

  • Put out a fresh bouquet of flowers or fresh cut herbs. The fresh plants smell really good.

Tips & Warnings

  • The point is to give the house an olfactory feeling of warmth and home. What smells good to you when you come home? What smells do you associate with home and comfort? Keep those in mind when you use the sense of smell to help leave the potential buyer with a positive house viewing experience.

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  • Photo Credit Laurie Darroch-Meekis,Stephanna B-D-M
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