Coffee and freshly baked bread may be a little cliché, but there is an element of truth behind the theory that smells sell homes. The question is, which ones work? Let’s take a look.

Get things clean first

Before you can start to think about adding smells to your home, it’s important you make sure your property is beautifully clean first. That’s not to say that you want to leave your home smelling of bleach and disinfectant, of course you don’t, but performing a deep clean prior to putting your home on the market will give you a good base to build on.

Main culprits for holding bad smells in the home include:

  • Sofas and other upholstered furniture
  • Curtains
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Pet goods (bedding, litter trays, etc.)

Concentrating on areas where smells linger will help freshen the whole house or apartment. Clean things smell clean, and buyers will notice if they’re not.

Smells that sell

Now your home is spick and span, is it time to dig out the cafetiere and banneton? Well, you could do, but it may not necessarily be the best approach. Despite being synonymous with property viewings, smells like brewed coffee and freshly baked bread or cookies may actually work against you, as they can distract buyers whilst they’re looking around your home.

Studies conducted by Eric Spangenberg, Dean of the College of Business at Washington State University, have shown that strong smells cause buyers to consider what the scent is, rather than concentrate on the task at hand: in our case, viewing your property.

The new theory about selling with scent is to opt for a much subtler approach. So subtle, in fact, it’ll almost be like there’s nothing in the air at all. Clean and fresh is the way to go, but you will still need undertones of scent that are easier for the olfactory senses to process.

Here are some of our favourites:


citrus scent sells homes

Thought to leave a positive impression on those who smell it, citrus is a winner when it comes to selling property. Women have rated lemon number one in the mood boosting stakes and studies have even shown that the mere whiff of the yellow fruit can help relieve stress.


pine scent sells homes

Another great scent for selling property, pine may come as a surprise to many...largely because the fragrance from this evergreen coniferous trees has been misused in poor quality cleaning products over the years. However, if you can find a good pine scent to fill your home with you’ll be onto something. Research has shown that walking through a pine-filled wood can promote feelings of well-being, and emulating that emotion is perfect for viewing day.


jasmine smell sells property

While you’ll want prospective buyers to get excited about your property, you’ll also want them to remain calm during the viewing so they can take in all the details of your home...this is where jasmine can play a role. Thought to be one of the most calming scents available, jasmine is highly underrated when it comes to property viewings, but it’s one that works. Try it out for yourself.



Like pine, the scent of cinnamon can evoke memories of wintery evenings spent by the fire, but it also has therapeutic properties, too. Thought to reduce irritability and drowsiness, this spice can relax muscles and increase circulation when used for aromatherapy. When it comes to selling homes, however, it’s simply the feeling of goodwill a few strategically placed cinnamon sticks will bring that’ll work in your favour.


vanilla scent sells homes

Although vanilla has become synonymous with everything boring, unconventional, and normal, its scent still works wonders in the home. The sweet fragrance of vanilla is thought to help relieve stress and anxiety, offering a calming environment that could make your home feel like an oasis for anyone viewing multiple properties that day.


The key thing to remember when using scents to sell property is that less is more. Overpowering smells, no matter how pleasant, are not what you’re looking for. Opt instead for just a hint of fragrance in the air so your prospective buyers can concentrate on the property and its features...rather than working out whether those cookies are chocolate chip or caramel pecan.

do smells sell homes

Article By: Catherine Bransgrove

Catherine has been in estate agency since 1986 and her local knowledge is second to none, despite being from Bonnie Scotland! A Loughton resident of over 35 years and one of the finest Sales Directors there is, Catherine is a true professional.

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