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Real Estate Tips: How Smell Affects a Buyer

Home Staging, Open House Tips, Open House, Real Estate Tips, Home Scents, Home Smells

What Scents are the Most Appealing to Buyers?

Have you ever thought that depending on a smell, individuals are more or less likely to spend money? If one is in the field of real estate, this certainly is a popular theory that is often put into practice. Whether it be some fresh flowers in the living room in Spring or some honey ham in the oven in the Winter, sellers and agents frequently attempt to create as much of the being home atmosphere and appeal for prospective buyers as possible.

A recent study enacted in a home-decor store in Switzerland found that the type of scent was a strong determinant for how much money someone was willing to spend. The following results were obtained:

  • Orange - $62.44 average amount spent
  • No scent - $50.50
  • Orange-basil-green tea - $47.37

What has been determined is that the more complex the smell, the less likely an individual is to spend a great deal of money and are less likely to spend a great deal of time in the store. This can be applied to real estate as well, where very specific smells at an open house, for example, distract the potential buyer from solely concentrating on the one important decision; whether or not they could envision themselves living in the home. As it turns out, in these unique situations where specific smells are involved, the brain subconsciously dedicates time and energy to figuring out what the aroma is. Professor Eric Spangenberg, the Dean of the College of Business at Washington State University mentioned, They are not there to process the smells. They are there to process whether this is a place they want to live. You need to think, 'What scent will buyers associate with this environment?' It must be simple and positive and congruent."

It is imperative that the scent used also strongly associates itself with the home and its surroundings. For example, a home on the beach may not be the most ideal place to feature a cedar scent. In fact, based on his research, Spangenberg determined that the superior smells to bring out the best in buyers at a home are far more simple yet still incredibly pleasing:

  • Lemon
  • Green Tea
  • Cedar
  • Pine
  • Basil
  • Vanilla

As it was proven in the store in Switzerland, however, when some of these above scents are combined people were less likely to continue spending. Therefore, confusing combinations are not the way to go, neither are the following, according to Spangenberg:

  • Potpourri
  • Gourmet Foods
  • Chocolate-Chip Cookies
  • Various Baked Goods

So whenever organizing your next open house, home showing, or even when just entertaining friends and family, try to target the smells that are distinct and not too overpowering. Non artificial scents are also a plus, so having fresh pine branches, picked lavender, mint leaves and more have a far more influential and lasting impact on ones overall impression.

More Information: The Wall Street Journal

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