Scents are powerful things. They can trigger memories, evoke emotions, and they can make strong, lasting impressions—both good and bad. Here are a few simple ideas to keep in mind regarding scents and open houses.

How Does the Property REALLY Smell?

It is easy to become “nose blind” to a space you’re in regularly, so try leaving the home for a couple of hours and then come back to smell it. Alternatively, you can ask a trusted peer to give you their honest opinion.

Remove Strong Scents

It is easiest to work with an empty canvas, so start off by making sure the space is clean. Empty ALL garbage bins and use baking soda if you need to neutralize odors. Before an open house, be sure no one will be cooking with strong scents.

Clean, Simple Scents

It is best to go with natural scents. One way to do this is to add a couple drops of a natural scent (such as lemon juice) to a spray bottle with water and mist the place lightly. (Keyword: lightly.) You can also use an essential oil diffuser. Use scents that convey a sense of cleanliness, like lavendar or fresh laundry.

Match the Space

It can be disorienting to have scents that don’t match the function of the space. Think about what the property should convey before adding a scent. You can have subtle vanilla in the kitchen, a fresh wreath in the living room, and clean linens in the bedroom.

Avoid Strong, Polarizing Scents

Just because you like a scent, doesn’t mean everyone will! It’s best to use neutral scents and avoid those that are overwhelming. For example: sweet smelling candles, pumpkin spice, potpourri, and sandalwood should be avoided.

Baking Cookies is SO Last Year

Although the scent of cookies is wonderful, it is also strong and distracting. Potential buyers should be thinking about the space, not whether there are cookies in the oven or what’s for dinner.