What Should Your House Smell Like When It's For Sale?

What Should Your House Smell Like When It’s For Sale?

By Linda O’Koniewski

A common mistake sellers make is trying to create special odors with candles or sprays when they are selling their house.  There are two problems when this happens: allergies flare and that can turn off some sensitive buyers, and others wonder, “What are they hiding?’

When selling your house, buyers do not want to smell anything but clean.  No potpourri, no candles, no air fresheners, no apple pies, no bread, no cooking smells (fish and ethnic foods especially), no pet or children’s odors.  Prospective buyers are naturally suspect if they feel you are masking something unpleasant. 

According to the amazing stager Blair Hamaty of Setting the Space, “If you can smell it, you can’t sell it.  A seller’s lifestyle is their lifestyle, but someone who doesn’t share that lifestyle won’t buy that home. Staging smells are clean, fresh, open windows.  A home can’t be musty; people are scared to death of mold. Fresh paint is a clean smell and it helps sell a property.” 

Walking into a home that smells like the cleaning crew just left is a great sensation.  Cleaning products made of citrus create the desired effect.  I’ve heard my mother tell clients, “If you don’t have time to clean just spray the Lemon Pledge.”  We carry it in the back of our cars and have been known to deploy it in open houses when needed.