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Friends, we now find ourselves in house showing mode for the 2nd time in a year. Try not to be jealous. If you’ve been following along you know we sold our prior home last summer, and moved into a rental while building our new home. Our landlords are selling the home that we’re living in (and who can blame them in this market) so once again we are living in a staged house.
Staging is so important, and it is a huge reason why ours sold so quickly (and was featured on HGTV House Hunters!). There are a lot of things that can turn potential buyers off as we’ve seen time and time again on HGTV. Paint colors, clutter, ugly furniture, and a thousand other things. But one often-overlooked element that you don’t see on TV – SMELLS.
Smells go a long way to making people love (or loathe) a house. We for sure want to cover up any undesirable smells, like cat litter or (heaven forbid) cigarette smoke. But beyond that, it’s important to acknowledge that ALL houses have a smell, but we just can’t smell it anymore because it’s totally normal to us. Older houses just have that “old house smell” which is not as charming as, say, old book smell.
When you’re selling you want to be sure that what potential buyers smell is something fresh and lovely but not overpowering or distracting. And you want to steer clear of any smells that could be a turnoff – they have to be universally appealing. It’s a delicate balance.
Below I’ve rounded up a shortlist of the smells that have worked for us in home selling. We didn’t take an exit poll or anything as people left the house, but we did get a decent amount of feedback from the various real estate agents, a few potential buyers that the house smelled nice. More importantly, we got ZERO feedback that the house had a 1970s smell or a cat smell, which is a win.
I love essential oil diffusers for this job. The plug-in style air fresheners can be okay, but I always find that they are too strong the first few days you plug them in, and then basically non-existent in smell after that. And they smell….fake? I don’t know. It’s too much. And for obvious reasons, you can’t leave candles burning in your house while you’re gone. Diffusers are a safe way to fill your home up with scent for about 8 hours. Set it and forget it.
Here are my favorite universally appealing recipes for selling your home. HINT – these are also wonderful even when you’re not selling your house!
Or you can download a printable PDF below!
If you really want to take it up a notch, if you have multiple diffusers you can create a Scent Story throughout your house. That means having one blend in one room, then moving towards a different complimentary scent in the next room. I’ll show you how to do that too! It’s just like when we design a house: we repeat colors and materials through the house to create a unifying story but have some individual elements in each space to keep it interesting.
Holler at us if you try any of these, and tag us on Instagram! It’ll be like Smell-O-Vision.
Here are my favorite diffusers and oils that we use at home. A lot of these are the larger sizes with the droppers because I use so much AND the dropper makes it so much faster and easier:
Diffuser | Oil Starter Kit with most of the oils listed above| Bergamot | Eucalyptus | Lavender | Lemon | Lemongrass | Orange | Rosemary | Tea Tree | Sage | White Tea|Thieves (this is pricey; Frankincense is a good substitute)