It smells like a sale – no, really. Some real estate experts see a direct connection between a home's scent and its likelihood for a close. Smell is known for being one of the most intense senses, connected to your memory and emotion. When buyers get a whiff of something unpleasant or overwhelming, that can quickly turn them off.
So how can you use this to your advantage? It's all about knowing when and how to mask one scent with another. It's a trick that casinos use to get patrons to come back, even if they risk losing money.
"There are independent studies that conclusively correlate increases in revenue with the use of ambient fragrance," Brad Owen, the president of AromaSys, told the Chicago Tribune. "You get people to linger longer and return more often. You develop a positive psychological reinforcement."
"Some experts say to use smells with a strong association."
For homeowners, the strategy can translate to picking the right scent for your house. Some experts say to use smells with a strong association – like baked goods inspiring a feeling of "home."
However, there is such thing as too much of a good thing, and that can be detrimental to your efforts. One 2013 study from the Journal of Retailing found that certain smells, despite being patently "pleasant," can actually hurt your chances of selling a home.
The researchers behind the study identified these smells as "complex" ones, such as a fresh batch of cookies or potpourri. The reason is that the smell is a distraction, causing buyers to spend more time focusing on it and its source rather than your home.
So how can you find the right scent for your house? A study from 2014 found that the smell that works best depending on the type of home you have. For example, new builds benefit from a mixture of white tea and fig. The smell can recreate a "homely, lived-in feel" that's difficult to achieve without furniture or decoration.
Whatever type of home you live in, though, avoid the worst smells, like smoke, which are hard to get rid of even after new homeowners have moved in. These scents will most certainly drive your prospective buyers right out the door.