Considering the time and energy homeowners put into staging their home to make it look perfect to sell, many make the critical mistake of neglecting our sense of smell.
Even if you have decorated your home to look like a magazine cover, if potential buyers walk into an unpleasant odor, they won’t be sticking around. Good scents, on the other hand, entice them to linger.
One of the easiest ways to envoke pleasant feelings about a space is to enhance the way it smells. It’s often the first thing a person will notice upon entering a space and it’s one of the things that can kill a sale if done poorly, no matter how beautiful the home.
Before considering what options you have for making your home smell amazing, you want to be sure you’re starting fresh. The first step to a good-smelling home is to get rid of any odor. Make sure to scrub all surfaces, wash all rugs, and have the carpets cleaned. Until this is done, you’ll only be masking smells.
In addition, be mindful in creating a home scent that will be as universally appealing as possible. The definition of “pleasant” when it comes to the olfactory senses can vary widely from person to person, so it’s best to keep the scent subtle and clean throughout, with a special emphasis on the kitchen and bathrooms.
With that in mind, here are 11 tips for making your home smell amazing before home buyers arrive.
Scrub Down the Bathroom
It goes without saying that scummy showers and grubby toilets are major turnoffs. Use Fabuloso liquid cleaner for bathroom surfaces, including tubs and showers, for a lovely lavender scent.
Freshen the Fridge
Yes, there’s a good chance people will open your refrigerator and take a peek inside. Toss any smelly leftovers or expired condiments, then leave a fresh box of baking soda on a shelf to take care of any lingering odors.
Take Out the Trash
Obviously, get rid of any and all garbage before you welcome guests. If your trash cans still carry an odor, sprinkle baking soda in the bottom to absorb it.
Carpets and rugs can trap a ton of bad smells, especially if you wear shoes in your home or have pets… and warm weather can make it even worse. An easy fix is to get them shampooed or steam-cleaned regularly, and especially before an open house.
Don an Apron
You know all of those hours you’ve spent watching bake-offs on reality TV? Put them to good use by whipping up something sweet that will do double duty making your home smell good and providing a snack for potential buyers.
Just Add Soap
Round up all those unused bars of fancy soap you’ve been gifted over the years, and place them in a pretty bowl on the bathroom counter. Dove brand soap also works great for this too. It can fill a room with a remarkably clean, fresh scent for weeks. You can even hide a bar or two in a walk-in closet to freshen up the space.
Play with Matches
Tried-and-true candles can make a room feel peaceful, as well as fill it with a pleasant scent, provided the scent isn’t overpowering.
Light the candle 10 to 15 minutes before the open house begins and, of course, keep it in a well-ventilated area away from anything flammable.
Focus on Essentials
Oils, that is. If you’d rather stay away from open flames, you can opt for essential oil diffusers for a similar effect. If you don’t want to invest in a diffuser, you can use essential oils in a few other ways. Dabbing a drop of oil on cold lightbulbs before turning them on will give off a subtle fragrance as the bulb warms up. You can also add a few drops to cotton balls and hide them strategically around your home, then simply toss them after the open house.
Raid Your Laundry Room
Face it: Potential buyers are likely going to be peeping through your drawers and cabinets, so you’ll need to consider how they smell, as well. An easy way to freshen up confined spaces like these is to add dryer sheets a few days before the open house.
These places don’t see a lot of light, so they can have some funky smells, but dryers sheets make them smell like fresh laundry.
If you don’t have time to bake, you can create a similarly appealing sweet scent by simmering vanilla extract diluted in water on the stove. You can make a natural potpourri by adding five cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons cloves, three bay leaves, and an orange rind to a pot of simmering water.
High-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, purifiers can be a little expensive, but they’re extremely effective in removing any lingering strong, strange odors from the air. Combining an air purifier with another method, such as baking cookies, can make a big difference in how your home smells.
At the end of the day, remember to not overdo it. Avoid having multiple scents competing with one another in various rooms. Instead, find one neutral, mild scent and let it breathe. A scent throughout helps give your home flow and connectivity – to allow it to become the background of the experience.