Photo Credit: Country Hill Cottage
After a lot of sweat, love and maybe some tears, you are finally ready to list your home for sale. The landscaping is impeccable, rooms pre-packed, every surface cleaned and the stager has done their magic. You realtor is arriving tomorrow afternoon for the first showing. It’s time to run to Target and grab some fresh candles and air fresheners, right? Absolutely….NOT! It today’s blog, we’ll go through the do’s and don’ts of using scents during the home selling process, and ensure your potential buys have a “scent”sational experience with your home!
The longer we live in a home, the more used to our natural scents. Cooking can make a lasting scent in your home that is great during meal time but not ideal during a showing. Foods like seafood, curries, onions, hot peppers, cauliflower, spinach all taste great and have wonderful health benefits, but are not your friend for selling a home. Attempt to avoid cooking pungent meals a week or more before listing your home. We’ll talk about a few tips to freshen the environment if you do have lingering cooking scents.
I love candles — the way they smell, the way they look, how cozy they make my home feel. Candles are fantastic, except some people are very sensitive to scent, and any hint of a candle burning will send them into a migraine! The last thing we want is a potential buyer leaving your home because they can’t tolerate your candle’s fragrance. Try to tuck away candles at least 48-72 hours before a showing.
Air fresheners might seem like a great idea, or you may have heard the hack of hiding scented dryer sheets around the house to freshen up the joint, but we’ll want to avoid both for showings. Air fresheners, especially when brand new, can have quite strong odors, and similarly to candles, could prevent a potential buyer from touring your home. Scent also tends to be taste specific — what smells great to me might smell terrible to you! Best to just avoid artificial scents and use some of our tips and tricks to refresh your home’s air naturally.
I would put essential oils in the same category as air fresheners and candles. Although the oils are natural, there are folks with sensitivities and allergies to the oils and what they’re made of. Let’s avoid allergic reactions and skip the diffuser for at least 48 hours before a tour.
Pets are another scent that our noses tend to adjust to overtime. You might not be able to smell Rufus, but potential buyers might be able to! Shampooing carpets, removing pet hair from furniture, and doing a general deep clean of the home is the best way to rid of pet scents. Try to have your pet sleepover with a friend or family member after the home has been deep clean since we won’t want pets home during showings anyways. For cats, use black light to identify any hidden areas where you pet may have pottied, and try an enzyme odor eater to elimate the scent.
One of the easiest ways to manage scents in your home is to simply open the windows! Dead of winter? Open windows! Ninety degrees? Open windows! Of course, if opening your windows doesn’t feel like an option, you could always invest in an air purifier. They work wonders!
If you’re struggling with odors stuck in carpets or soft furniture, sprinkle baking soda over the surface and let it sit for an hour or more. Vacuum up the soda and you should vaccum up the smells with it!
When sellers feel very strongly about have a pleasant scent wafting through their home during open houses or showings, I suggest they head to the store, grab some pre-made cookie dough, and toss it in the oven before potential buyers arrive! Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh baked cookies? Of course, consider avoiding nuts or peanut butter in case of allergies. Bonus — you can take the fresh baked cookies on the road with you for a tasty treat while you wait for the showing to end!
Another natural way to improve your home’s air is to utilize fresh plants and flowers during the staging process. Of course, we don’t want too many sources of pollen (dang allergies!), but house plants help clean the air and flowers make everything better! My go to flowers are eucalyptus and baby’s breath. They dry nicely so you won’t likely need to replace them throughout the showing process, and they give off a subtle, fresh scent.
Remember, when it doubt, just give a good cleaning and open the windows! Happy selling!
Guest Blogger: Katya Larsen, Stager, A Home Revival