The Best Scents for Open House Tours

Posted by Shirley Franklin Realtors on August 2, 2013
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Never underestimate the power of scent. With just one whiff, you can be seduced, disgusted, intrigued, charmed, or even sickened. Have you ever thought about how many billions of dollars are spent on fragrance each year? Consider all the perfumes and colognes, the candles, the incense, the oil . . . Have you ever noticed the bond between scent and memory, the way a particular scent can evoke a significant time in your life? Take a moment and pretend you’re smelling your lover’s perfume . . . now, freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies . . . salty sea air . . . your grandma’s house . . . campfire smoke . . . buttery popcorn . . . play-doh . . . cut grass . . . See what I mean? Scents stick with you and evoke memories in a powerful, atmospheric way. With the right scent, you can really influence a person’s thoughts, which is why it’s so important that you consider your home’s scent when you’re trying to sell it. Today, we’re going to look at the best scents for open house tours so that you can engage homebuyers’ noses as well as their hearts, brains, and wallets.

Best Scents for Open House

 Best Scents for Open House Tours

First of all, you might have some trouble distinguishing the smell of your home. You may even be tempted to say that your house doesn’t have a smell, which simply isn’t true. As with most things, if you’re around a scent too long, you become accustomed to it and forget that it’s even there. You need to ask guests of your home (friends, family, neighbors, your real estate agent) to tell you what scents they detect when they step in your home and go from there.

If the reactions are positive, you can decide if you’d just like to keep that clean, everyday scent or go for something more dramatic and evocative. If the results are negative (especially if guests say your home smells like something particularly bad like smoke, cat hair, mildew, or must), you need to deep clean the home until it has a neutral, clean scent. Sometimes it won’t be possible (smoke is very resistant) but do the best you can.

Then, think about what sorts of scents you most like and ask friends and family members for suggestions as well. The best scents for open house tours are not too powerful, acceptable to all genders and age groups, and complement the home’s style and decor. 

Best Scents for Open House

Choosing a Scent

Because scents are so tied to memory, the best scents for open house tours are those that will bring to mind pleasant times in a person’s life. Knowing that, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that one of the most common fragrances used for open houses is freshly baked cookies. Most people love cookies and the scent works well for adults and children alike. The smell can easily be achieved by baking a fresh batch of cookies, and it’s doubly useful because you could serve the cookies to homebuyers or eat them yourself!

If you’re worried the scent of cookies is too sweet or will distract homebuyers, try something a bit simpler and cleaner. Lemon, basil, pine, and rosemary are all fresh fragrances that are both easily recognized and not very distracting. You could also try mint, orange, cedar, cinnamon, or vanilla. 

The key to incorporating the best scents for open house tours is keeping the smell subtle and natural. Don’t use artificial candles or sprays. You want the homebuyer to think your house always smells so fresh and lovely, not that you went around beforehand spraying Febreze. To keep it natural, try cutting up citrus fruit for use in drinks, display boughs of herbs, boil cinnamon on the stove, or bake cookies. You could also combine scents to make something special. Try simmering lemon, rosemary, and vanilla on the stove or if it’s December, boil cinnamon and display boughs of fresh, fragrant pine as festive decor.

If you need help deciding which scent to use and how to distribute it throughout the house, just ask your real estate agent for help. With their experience, you’ll know just how much fragrance to incorporate and which scents complement your home while remaining pleasant and inoffensive.

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