The sense of smell is closely related to perception and memory. It is such a strong sense that experts say what a person smells when entering a house for the first time is key to forming that person’s perception of the space. This has a lot of implications for the real estate market.
If you are selling your home, it is important that you control what potential buyers smell when they come for a viewing. Not convinced? Then take a minute to think about some of the best smells you remember from childhood. Chances are you associate those smells with pleasant memories. Perhaps you can still smell your grandmother’s fresh apple pie or the perfume your mother used to wear.
The fact that those smells evoke such strong memories in your mind is evidence of how important your sense of smell is to perception. As such, the last thing you want potential buyers to experience upon entering your home are odors that will create a negative perception.
Air Out the House
One of the first things you should do upon learning that an agent is coming to show your home is make plans to air it out. If you know the buyers will be arriving Thursday at 4:00 PM, make sure that you or someone else is there to open the windows and draw the shades at 2:30. Fresh air and natural light will help eliminate musty odors.
You can also run the fan on your HVAC unit for 30 to 60 minutes. Just go to your thermostat and switch the fan to ‘manual’. Running the fan circulates air, thus giving a boost to what you are doing with the windows and shades.
Eliminate Odor Sources
You may be in a situation in which you know that there are certain sources of persistent odors in your home. A litter box instantly comes to mind. If you are a cat owner, removing the litter box from your home is almost a requirement if you expect to sell. Ask a neighbor to look after your cat for the day, if necessary.
Garbage cans are another common source of unpleasant odors. You might also want to clean your sinks, toilets, and bathtubs with a good cleanser. Anything you know of that produces a bad smell needs to be addressed before potential buyers come calling.
Freshen the Air
Another thing you can do is freshen the air. Some real estate agents recommend baking a cake or cookies just before leaving the house, and then leaving the baked goods on the counter. That is a good idea if you have the time to do it. Assuming such time isn’t available, you can freshen the air in your home using essential oils.
A drop of oil in strategic places around the home does wonders. Better yet, you can install a whole home diffuser system like the one made by Zephyr. The Zephyr Fresh system is a small device that attaches to the cold air return of your HVAC unit. It consistently diffuses essential oils throughout your home during the course of the day.
Essential oils can give your home a delightful, fresh scent that really makes an impression. You might even hook a buyer sitting on the fence by offering to leave the unit intact when you move out. You can use it as a selling point to let potential buyers know that their new home will always smell fresh thanks to the diffuser.
It’s clear that the sense of smell is important to perception. So if you are selling your home, make sure it smells nice.