Good Smells, Bad Smells
How does your listing smell? It might be worth an extra sniff because buyers certainly will take notice.
April 1, 2010
Sensory research shows that the smell of a home can affect a person’s mood, according to Terry Molnar, executive director of The Sense of Smell Institute, a New York–based organization that focuses on the importance of smell to human psychology, behavior, and quality of life.
A light floral fragrance can put people in a more pleasant mood, while citrus scents, such as lemon and grapefruit, tend to have an energizing effect, he says. "Vanilla is one scent that’s universal around the globe," Molnar says. "People find it comforting and relaxing."
But be careful: When you add smells to a home, it can be viewed as an attempt to cover up a bad odor. And if that’s the intent, it can make the problem worse.
So what if you do need to get rid of a bad smell? Here are some ideas from staging professionals:
- Take the trash out. It’s simple, but it can make a big difference. When the home is being shown, advise sellers to empty the garbage often.
- Snuff out the smoke. Encourage sellers to eliminate all smoking inside and even outside, particularly when the doors or windows are open. An ionizer can help remove smoke smells.
- Watch the cooking. The smell of lamb, broccoli, garlic, fish, and eggs can stick around long after the food has been eaten.
- Wash Fido. Pets can be a big source of smells. Limit the pet to an outdoor area or a certain room in the house that can be regularly cleaned, says staging professional Kellie Frooninckx, owner of Virtual Enriching Homes in Phoenix. Also, clean the pet’s bedding regularly.