You’ve likely spent considerable time and energy to making sure you’re your house looks great before placing it on the market. However, did you forget about any smells that might be lurking?
Even if you’ve decorated or staged your home perfectly, if potential buyers walk in and detect an unpleasant odor, they could make a beeline toward the door. However, good scents that evoke pleasant feelings about a space could entice them to linger. With that in mind, realtor.com offers these 11 tips for making your home smells amazing before potential buyers arrive.
1. Scrub the bath
Scummy showers and grubby toilets are major buyer turnoffs. For a lovely scent, use a lavender liquid cleaner for bath surfaces, including tubs and showers.
2. Freshen the fridge
There’s a good chance people will open your refrigerator and look inside. Toss any smelly leftovers or expired condiments, then leave a fresh box of baking soda on a shelf to take care of any lingering odors.
3. Take out the trash
Get rid of any and all garbage before you welcome guests. If your trash cans still carry an odor, sprinkle baking soda in the bottom to absorb it.
4. Get underfoot
Carpets and rugs can trap a ton of bad smells, especially if you wear shoes in your home or have pets—and warm weather can make them even worse. An easy fix: Shampoo or steam-clean them regularly, and especially before an open house.
5. Don an apron
Put all of those hours you’ve spent watching bake-offs on reality TV to good use by whipping up something sweet—like pumpkin or banana bread—that not only will make your home smell enticing, but also provide a snack for potential buyers.
6. Just add soap
Round up all of those unused bars of fancy soap you’ve been gifted over the years, and place them in a pretty bowl on a bathroom counter. This can fill a room with a clean, fresh scent for weeks, and you can even hide a bar or two in a walk-in closet to freshen the space.
7. Play with matches
Candles can make a room feel peaceful, as well as fill it with a pleasant scent—provided the scent isn’t overpowering. Light the candle 10 to 15 minutes before the open house begins, and of course, keep it in a well-ventilated area away from anything flammable.
8. Focus on essentials
Oils, that is. If you’d rather stay away from open flames, you can opt for essential oil diffusers for a similar effect. Be sure to use fresh, neutral scents such as lemon or lavender to add to a high-quality diffuser.
If you don’t want to invest in a diffuser, you can dab a drop of oil on cold lightbulbs before turning them on to give off a subtle fragrance as the bulb warms up, or add a few drops to cotton balls and hide them strategically around your home, then simply toss them after the open house concludes.
9. Raid your laundry room
Potential buyers likely will be peeping through your drawers and cabinets, so you’ll need to consider how they smell, as well. An easy way to freshen up confined spaces like these is to add dryer sheets a few days before the open house.
10. Simmer down
If you don’t have time to bake, you can create a similarly appealing sweet scent by simmering vanilla extract diluted in water on the stove. You also can make a natural potpourri by adding five cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons cloves, three bay leaves and an orange rind to a pot of simmering water.
11. Catch air
High-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA, purifiers can be a little expensive, but they’re extremely effective at removing any lingering strong, strange odors from the air. Combining an air purifier with another method, such as baking cookies, can make a big difference in how your home smells. At the end of the day, remember to not overdo it and avoid having multiple scents competing with one another in various rooms.