When Selling Your Home, Using Scents Makes Sense!

Written by Posted On Thursday, 24 January 2008 16:00

Even though now doesn't seem to be the ideal time to sell your home, you can take heart in knowing that small actions may make a difference in getting your home sold.

"Scentmosphere" isn't exactly new but it is rapidly becoming a way to attempt to attract buyers.

"When [buyers] walk into a house before they actually see anything in that house, because they breathe, they are smelling. So they are actually getting an impression, whether it's conscious or subconscious, of your home -- just by the way it smells," says Rick Ruffolo, senior vice president of brand, marketing, and innovation for Yankee Candle Company.

So, right now take a deep breath. What kind of "smellment" is your home making?

Choosing to proactively make a statement in the way your home smells is just another step in helping to sell your home faster. It's the next step after curb appeal. Ruffolo says curb appeal gets buyers in the door but then they see and smell your home and begin to decide if this is the home for them.

"If it's a vacant home it can be musty. But if it's an active home it also could have [odors of] whatever activities that are going on in that house," says Ruffolo.

Are buyers going to smell the over-sized dog that traipses around the house after rolling in the newly-cut grass? Are they going to smell your son's gym bag filled with dirty socks that has been buried deep in his closet for the last five weeks? While we certainly don't all have the same preferences for scents, most would agree neither of those two things pose a welcoming aroma.

"It's not rocket science, but it is candle science," says Ruffolo.

He suggests candle fragrances such as the smell of freshly-baked cookies. "Not everybody likes to eat cookies but everybody enjoys the smell of cookies, and when I say everybody, there may be the exception here or there, but the vast majority would enjoy the baking smell. So we're always fond of fragrances that are in the vanilla family," says Ruffolo.

Fragrances such as French vanilla, butter cream, and créme brûleé that mimic baking scents are welcoming and inviting for buyers. Scents register in our brain and frequently remind us of our past experiences. Creating pleasant aromas in your newly-listed house can help the buyer to experience an emotional connection with the home.

Ruffolo says when it comes to bathrooms, great rooms, or even basements it's a good idea to try different fragrances.

"You may want to think of what we refer to as clean or fresh fragrances and those could be based in various fruits, so the citrus family is a really good one," says Ruffolo.

He says, however, there are some fragrances that you should avoid as they don't tend to appeal to the masses or they have too strong an odor.

Ruffolo instead encourages sellers to use fragrances that will instantly be winners such as vanilla, kitchen spice fragrances, citrus, and the smell of freshly cleaned laundry.

"Scent impacts the atmosphere," says Ruffolo. He says that candles are the best way to get the fragrant aroma in the air, but if you don't have time to let them burn before showing your home there are other methods that work to get the right "scentmosphere."

The company has electrical plug-in products that have oil them so they provide continuous fragrance. "If you're away from the house for a period of time, you don't have to worry about the candle being lit," says Ruffolo.

Reed diffusers are both decorative and powerful for giving off fragrance. The diffusers contain oil and the reeds help to draw the oil up and out into the room. "They don't fill a large room but they fill a nice small space very well," says Ruffolo.

But if you give every room a fragrance, is there a point of over-saturation? Ruffolo says that's not likely to happen.

"It's not like the person who put on too much perfume. A home is a very large place and it absorbs a lot of the fragrance so it would be pretty hard to overpower a house with too much fragrance," explains Ruffolo.

Ruffolo says with all the tips out there about selling a home, the scent factor is often the most forgotten.

"If you don't have a scent that you want in there, buyers are going to smell whatever is going on in that room. So if it's been closed up or doesn't have a lot of air flow [there will] be more of a musty, damp, or a less desirable scent," explains Ruffolo.

It just makes sense that if you want to create an appealing environment for buyers, pleasing scents should be part of the selling plan.

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website: www.LiveFitMagazine.com.

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or [email protected]. Visit PhoebeChongchua.com for more information.


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