A Buyer’s Nose Can Make or Break a Home Purchase

We’re told that the senses work together to influence a buying decision. And houses are no exception.

The more senses a neighbourhood and home can influence, the more they can help or hinder in making the sale.

Vision Trumps All

What the buyer sees probably carries the most weight in winning over a buyer to buy a home. Colours, décor, a sense of spaciousness, organization and neatness, cleanliness, condition and age all play a part.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Smell

Don’t, however, miscalculate the power that smell has over us. According to Dr. John J. Medina, author of the book, Brain Rules, “…smell directly stimulates the emotions….Smells also play a role in decision making.” He goes on to say, “Because smells stimulate areas in the brain responsible for creating emotions as well as memories, a number of business people have asked, ‘Can smell, which can affect motivation, also affect sales?’”

As REALTORS® we have experience-based evidence that, yes, smell can definitely have a positive or negative effect on the sale of a home.

Vanilla Influences Women but not Men

Dr. Medina makes another point. Vanilla has been known to evoke a positive response from women but not from men. The smell of rose maroc, “a spicy honey-like fragrance seems to have a positive effect on men and not on women.”

Yet most home-buying is made by couples. So using a scent or aroma may be helpful for one buyer and off-putting to another. Besides, a home on the market will likely be shown to a variety of buyers who may not appreciate fragrances for effect.

Nothing like the Smell of Clean

Other than the scent of clean, it makes sense to remove fragrances when a home is being shown. Marketers may successfully experiment with smell to increase sales; when it comes to home sales, too often unpleasant odors and even deodorizers have an extremely negative influence on the olfactory glands of buyers.

Offensive Odors Need to be Removed at the Source

A variety of smells that need to be avoided when selling a home: the smell of pets, cigarette smoke and lingering smell of burnt wood from some wood-burning stoves, urine, mustiness, sweat, mildew and lingering kitchen odors like fish and exotic foods and spices.

Though coffee brewing, apple pie or bread baking can be appealing, these, air fresheners and deodorizers are best avoided, especially if used to mask an unpleasant odor that’s still often still noticeable. Offensive odors need to be removed at the source. Nothing beats the smell of clean.

Eugene Pilato

Eugene Pilato

Broker of Record
CENTURY 21 Today Realty Ltd., Brokerage*
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