Aromatherapy for Selling Homes
You’ve probably heard the old cliché that baking cookies before a showing helps entice homebuyers. While that particular trick might be a bit impractical, it is based on proven science. There is a strong link between our sense of smell and our emotions, and a home’s scent can have a powerful effect on how prospective buyers perceive it—both positive and negative. If you’re looking to enhance a home through the use of scents, keep these three rules in mind.
Rule 1: Keep it simple.
Bear in mind that the sense of smell is highly subjective. What’s appealing to one person might be unpleasant to another—and there’s always the possibility that a potential buyer has allergies. So avoid strong aromas and heavily perfumed products. Instead, opt for simple scent notes that have broad appeal.
Additionally, you may want to do a little research into aromatherapy when choosing scents. Specific aromas can influence a buyer’s mood in different ways, making them better suited for different rooms. For example, lavender oil can have a calming effect, making it a good choice for the master bedroom or bathroom, while the bright, clean scent of citrus might work well in the kitchen.
Rule 2: Keep it subtle.
Whatever scent you choose, be careful not to overdo it! Just as an understated aroma can enhance a home’s appeal, an overwhelming assault can turn a buyer off. Resist the urge to put a scented candle in every room. A little potpourri, some fresh herbs growing in a windowsill or a reed diffuser might be all that’s needed. A bowl of fruit can add a nice touch without being overpowering. And green houseplants are a great way to keep a room feeling—and looking—fresh.
Rule 3: Keep it clean.
Nothing helps more than a squeaky clean home. Many homes, especially older ones, develop characteristic scents over the years—and that’s not always a good thing. Pets, cigarettes and cooking can all conspire to leave a permanent aromatic signature in a home. A good scrubbing can sometimes help wash away such smells, but if the smells are embedded in rugs and furniture, that may not be enough. You may be tempted to try to cover embedded odors with heavy air fresheners, but don’t forget rule #2. A better bet would be to shampoo and deodorize rugs and carpets, and put any offending furnishings into temporary storage.
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