Q&A: Odors and Home Staging... What's Best?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Oakley Signs & Graphics

Q: Is it still a good idea to add pleasant odors (cookies baking, cinnamon, fresh flowers) to a staged home for showings?

A: Not necessarily. Odors do matter, but assuming you know what "a nice smell" is to you buyers could be trouble.

If anything, the house should smell freshly cleaned, but not "chemical." Your best bet is to focus on eliminating foul or dominant odors. If the house smells stuffy or "closed up" (you know, that "back of the closet with coats from 1974 smell"), concentrate on circulating fresh air first and foremost. Replacing air filters in forced heat/air systems is a good place to start.

The trouble with adding odors such as baking cookies or fresh coffee is one of preference. How do you know what sort of associations buyers will have with the smells you think are attractive? Floral scents may even set off allergies.

Not to mention, you may be adding a "good smell" in an effort to cover up a bad smell. We all know how well that works out.

Finally, many buyers are aware of the "sweet smell" tactic associated with open houses. While your intentions may be good, some savvy prospects may be thinking, "I wonder what that smell is supposed to distract us from?"

Comments (3)

Gary Swanson
Century 21 Harris & Taylor - Grants Pass, OR

Very good points.  I think a fresh, clean smelling house is much better than freshly baked cookies, vanilla etc.

Feb 01, 2010 05:02 PM
Darren Revell
Keller Williams Realty Temecula Valley - Temecula, CA

good point, but are we trying to get all of their senses involved?  Hey, I use Oakley signs... Thanks...

Feb 01, 2010 05:14 PM
Oakley Signs & Graphics
Oakley Signs & Graphics - Altamonte Springs, FL

Gary:  Exactly.  Who has ever been offended by a clean smelling house? 

Darren:  Smell is definitely a powerful trigger for memory.  Knowing that, maybe it's best we don't trigger all their senses?  Thanks, by the way, for being an Oakley customer!  We recently joined Active Rain as a Business Builder, and have a new page up on the site.  We'd love your honest feedback about Oakley, if you wouldn't mind lending your comment:


Feb 02, 2010 04:17 AM