The way a home smells can have a profound effect on how buyers feel about your home. However, some buyers are allergic to the perfumed smell that comes out of some air fresheners, and some buyers will be concerned that you are trying to cover up a bad smell, like a musty odor.
There are arguments for and against using artificail smells. If you want my opinion, here it is:
1. If you can fill the house with fresh flowers while you are selling your Palo Alto home, that is better than an artificial air freshener. This is easier to do in the spring and summer. However, you can get good flowers all year round at Trader Joe's or the Farmers markets on Sat and Sun.
2. If you have pets with strong odors, like Basset Hounds, or very old and smelly cats then it is a good idea to get an air freshener. These smells will go away when you move so you do not have to worry about being accused of covering up a material fact of your house.
3. If some of your furniture in the home you are selling in Palo Alto is old and musty it would be worth removing it and having your home staged with more modern looking and less smelly furniture. Then add some fresh flowers or a little potpourri to give a better emotional hit from the house.
4. If your home is musty smelling because of water damage, wet soil in the crawl space, or unseen mildew then the decision is a little harder. If you believe your home will be torn down you may have a different decision than if you think the home will be lived in as is or perhaps remodeled. If your home is a candidate for tear down, like an old 2 bedroom one bath Midtown home, then it will be more pleasant to have an air freshener while it is for sale. if the Palo Alto home you are selling smells but it is large and beautiful and just musty smelling, as many older Palo Alto homes are, do what you can to find the source and get it re-mediated before you sell your Palo Alto home. The investment will be worth it!
So the bottom line is if you are selling your Palo Alto home it should smell as good as possible. Fresh flowers are best, but if you decide to use an artificial air freshener, try to get one that smells as natural as possible. Citrus and jasmine may be better bets than cinnamon or roses.
If you have any questions about selling a home in Palo Alto please fell free to contact me.