You have made the decision to list your home and have undoubtedly spent days decluttering, prepping and staging it as well. The final step is to ensure that your home has a welcoming pleasant scent so that it makes a positive first impression on prospective buyers.
It is estimated that approximately 30% of the population suffers from environmental and respiratory diseases. Strong scents may distract the Buyer’s interest in your home. Most air fresheners, plug-ins, scented candles and pot pourri contain chemicals that can adversely affect many people. A Buyer may cut short their visit or feel inclined to eliminate a house with overpowering odors.
Invest in an air filter as it will force air through a fine mesh, trapping harmful particles such as pet dander, smoke, pollen and dust mites which can built up in a home. Filters should be changed every three months.
Before listing, ask a friend or neighbour to walk through your home and be brutally honest about its smell. Every house has a distinct scent of its own and it is likely that you are accustomed to the familiar smell of your home and perhaps not as objective as you should be.
With all the scents to choose from, which one makes your home most appealing? Strive for one that is refreshing, pleasingly familiar and not overbearing. Researchers have discovered that the scent of a clean house is the one potential Buyers appreciate most of all. If you take the time to do a thorough cleaning of your entire house, it will improve the overall scent. Bleach and ammonia should be used sparingly though. Easiest of all? Open the windows to invite the fresh air in.
Houseplants, especially those with bountiful green leaves, are also known to purify indoor air and removing harmful contaminants naturally. These include Ficus, Boston Ferns, Bamboo Palm, Dracaena, English Ivy and the Peace Lily.
While prepping your home to list, steam clean your carpets and upholstery. Wash bedding and drapes as odors have a way of lingering in fabrics. Mop floors, scrub bathrooms and clean out recycling and garage bins. Store old shoes in boxes with lids.
Look for the cause of specific odors. Does someone smoke in the house? Is there a possibility of mold? Do you have pets? Each of these issues should be addressed before your first showing. Air fresheners should never be used to mask unpleasant odors. The combination is usually more off-putting and can act as a red flag to potential Buyers and their home inspectors, who often ask the Sellers to ‘unplug’ their houses before revisit so that they can identify odors. Baking soda absorbs odors and will leave a room with a neutral scent. If your home does have a strong smoke smell, consider a fresh coat of paint throughout.
A common real estate myth is that the smell of freshly baked bread or chocolate chip cookies are the most engaging scents to attract Buyers. Pure and simple scents such as vanilla, cinnamon, cedar, lemons or limes are preferable. Time invested in neutralizing the smells in your home will translate into less time spent selling it! Spring has finally arrived! Open those windows and let the fresh air in!!