Believe it or not, the human nose can detect and clarify about 10,000 smells. That's right....10,000! We know that the power of smell is one of the strongest senses we, as humans, posess. And recent studies have shown that scent is the strongest of our 5 senses that is tied directly to memory.
In my parent's house, for example, my mother always made fresh peach pies in the late summer. To this day, I can smell a peach pie from a mile away and instantly Im transported to my mom's kitchen as a 7yr old boy in my swimsuit pacing around the table hoping to get a shot at sticking my finger into the peach filling while my mom wasn't looking. (I got caught every time).
Retailers have been using smells to get people to buy their goods with thousands of scents for literally thousands of years. Scents, as a whole, have a power of their own and, depending on the scent, can even have a profound effect on the very psychology of a person.
It is the same when showing a home! Strong smells like cat oders (pet orders in general, really. I just pick on cats because it is the most obvious example of a gross smell that everyone can relate to) or even cooking smells (burnt oil, grease, hard fish smells) can send buyers away faster than any screwed up floor plan or poor staging effort. In fact, you can stage a home perfectly, and have the perfect floor plan, but if the house smells like 50 cats used it for a latrine, you may as well burn it down where it sits because it will probably never sell.
If you are showing a contemporary condo or loft in a hip, upscale urban setting where young singles and urbanistas are buying, you would want your clients to be highly attentive and excited. Putting out scents of rosemary, peppermint or grapefruit will help them make decisions more quickly as these scents improve alertness and stimulation.
If you are showing an older home in the suburbs with numerous rooms and a ‘creative' floor plan, you may want them to feel more calm and relaxed. Lavender is the perfect scent for this. Mixed with citrus smells, you will have a calm, yet mentally alert client that can make calm, rational decisions.
Aside from those, here is a list of scents and their reactions to human behavior:
Chamomile - Calming and soothing; eases anger and anxiety.
Clary Sage - Relaxing; euphoric; eases anxiety, tension, and stress.
Eucalyptus - Fresh, cooling, and invigorating; promotes alertness.
Jasmine - Alleviates anxiety and depression.
Lavender - Calming.
Lemon - Refreshing and energizing; eases tension, heightens mental clarity.
Mandarin - Relaxing and calming; relieves insomnia.
Orange blossom - Relieves stress, anxiety and insomnia.
Peppermint - Refreshing and stimulating; increases alertness.
Rosemary - Promotes mental clarity and alertness.
Sandalwood - A warm, sensual aroma that creates seductive and euphoric moods.
This is just a small sample, obviously. But, this sample includes the top scents used by retailers to stimulate buyers. Since you are also assisting buyers, using similar techniques will help move properties faster and put your buyers in the ‘right frame of mind'.