When you’re selling real estate, it turns out, smell does not sell. It sounds a bit contrarian, but sellers should avoid manipulating scents to help sell their homes.

In 2014, The Wall Street Journal published a great article about this very topic. Essentially, it laid out a few risks that are associated with using scent to attract homebuyers. Smells create a short-term effect, but it can also do the following things:

  • It can seem gimmicky. Selling real estate for hundreds of thousands of dollars is not the same as selling Cinnabon.

  • It can miss the mark. Some people like the fragrance of certain colognes, perfumes, flowers, and candles—and some people don’t. Everyone is different, and you want to cast the widest net possible to attract the best possible price. To do that, you need to be neutral. Present your home like a museum or a hotel, neither of which are defined by strong smells.

"If you want to sell a home for top dollar the way I sell homes for top dollar, don’t rely on smell."

  • It can distract. If there’s a beautiful cookie smell permeating the house, I won’t necessarily think, “I’d better pay full price for this home!” I’ll probably just think about cookies.

  • It can ruin a deal. Smells can make people feel disgusted, complacent, comfortable, or great. But guess what? You’re selling real estate—that’s not your job. Your job is to make the buyer feel like they need to sign a contract by tomorrow or risk losing the home. Smells don’t do that.

I know this view isn’t what most people think, but if you want to sell a home for top dollar the way I sell homes for top dollar, don’t rely on smell.

If you have any further questions about this, feel free to give me a call or send an email. I’d be happy to speak with you.