impact property real estate agents brisbane

Selling a House by Smell – Selling Hints & Tips


We’ve all been there – you’re looking for a house to rent or buy and it’s time to do the rounds of open homes. One of the first things to assault your senses upon entering a house for the first time is the smell. All houses have their own energy, feel and smell. You don’t want the buyer’s first impression of your home to be the smell of a dankness, mould or mildew.

While the aforementioned point might seem obvious, walking into a house with burnt toast lingering in the air isn’t that pleasant either. Another thing a lot of people won’t consider is that cigarette smoke puts many people off a home instantly.

While people aren’t consciously aware of the smells at all times, they subconsciously register them as a part of the holistic environment. This means that how your home smells has a direct impact of their overall perception of the house.

This poses the questions: what are the best smells to have in your house when people are coming to view it?

Well at Impact property we’ve put together a succinct list to take the time out of your research.

No. 1: A Clean Smell

Buyers and tenants want a house that is clean, so if your house smells clean that is a big plus. This doesn’t mean going overboard with the Pine-O-Cleen; you don’t want people choking on fumes as they walk in! Dilute your cleaning products and give the house a good clean on the morning of your open home. Then open the windows and let the clean scent flow through your house.


No. 2: Simple Smells

Research suggests that simple smells appeal more to our senses than complex smells. Easily identified smells such as orange have a more positive effect than a blend of orange, basil and mint.  Rather than stocking up on expensive  mixed scent candles, why not cut up some citrus fruit before your open home. In particular, lemon improves concentration and has calming and clarifying properties.


No. 3: Fresh flowers

Flowers can offer a beautiful, fresh smell to your house and they also look great sitting in a classic vase on your kitchen bench. Again, be careful in your choice and try and choose a flower that has a simple smell that is not too strong. Many people have allergies to flowers so something understated without too much pollen is best. If in doubt, a classic bouquet of roses will never look out of place.


No. 4: Baked Treats

They’re comforting, homely and (according to most people) delicious. The smell of freshly baked bread, cookies or cakes can take people back to their childhoods, to picnics in the park, to Sunday morning brunches.  Also, according to a French study, the smell of these goodies can make us kinder to strangers. Researchers found that pleasant smells can trigger positive moods that lead to a greater degree of altruism. You could even leave a plate of whatever you have baked out for prospective buyers/tenants to try.


No. 5: Freshly Ground Coffee Beans

This last one may or may not appeal to everyone; not all people like to drink coffee. Although, even non-coffee drinkers often enjoy the aroma of fresh ground coffee beans.


Use Smells to Highlight Not Mask

The most important thing to remember when getting your house ready is that none of the above aromas should be used to mask other smells. You really do need to thoroughly clean your house from top to bottom to eradicate or minimise bad smells.

The above smells, if you choose to use them, should not be overpowering; you should choose one scent and stick with just that one.

Remember that you’re trying to create an atmosphere so your house should smell the way people would expect it to smell. For example, if you’re showing your house in the middle of summer citrus might be a much better choice than fresh baked cookies. Or, if you have a vegetable garden having fresh rosemary, mint or basil in the kitchen might be a more suitable fragrance.

Whatever you choose to do remember that above all, your house should feel fresh and light with nothing that overpowers or lingers.


Tell Us What You Think

Why don’t you comment and let us know if you agree or if there’s a particular smell that could put you off even the loveliest of mansions.

Or, If you would like to discuss getting the Impact Property treatment for your property contact us at: or call: 07 3324 1800.

At Impact Property we specialise in Brisbane real estate sales and Brisbane property management. 

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