Nailing the open home: scents

23 NOVEMBER 2023

The open home is a chance for your potential pool of buyers to fall in love with your place. And the first one will usually be your busiest. It is where the hottest buyers in the market will attend. These buyers will be quick to pounce on anything new and often be ready to make a quick decision. Over time, numbers will slow, and the quality of buyers will deteriorate.

To get a record-breaking result, you need to get as many people through the property in the first two weeks, create a sense of competition and draw out multiple offers. Selling in real estate is no more complicated than that.

A well-presented property will always do better than one that isn’t. It goes without saying that the property should be spotless for every open home - particularly the first one.

As agents, we spend a lot of time helping our owners get their homes ready for sale. It is not always easy, and the house does not need to be perfect. But we will help you every step of the way.

Your job as the owner is to ensure the home is always inviting. While aesthetics, location, and pricing play vital roles, one often underestimated factor is the sense of smell. How a house smells can significantly influence a buyer's perception and ultimately affect their decision.12WimbledonGr-4

It should go without saying, but the most fundamental smell a house should have is cleanliness. A clean house smells fresh, inviting, and well-maintained. Cleanliness isn't just visual; it's also about ensuring no hidden odours. A slight smell of cleaning chemicals or paint helps a buyer see that the property has been well cared for.

We’d suggest being careful about what you cook for dinner the night before open homes. Frying up your favourite cut of salmon can stink out the house for days (or any fatty foods, for that matter).

If you are a smoker and you are smoking inside, I’m sorry to say, but you are going to turn many people off. Smoke outside, thoroughly clean the house and consider upgrading (or renting) some new furniture. A fresh coat of paint can cover over wall and ceiling stains, and the smell of fresh paint is always a plus at an open home.

If you have a dog, ensure it is clean and wash its bedding. Perhaps it is time for a bedding replacement? We are all dog lovers here at LaneCampos, but they can stand in your way of getting your dream price, especially if they snooze on the lounge and sleep in your bed.

And when it comes to bedding, don’t forget your own. Ensure you have freshly washed sheets on every bed before the open home. You don’t have to wash your sheets every day, but during open homes, doing these every 1-2 weeks will make an impact. A few fresh pillows can make a big difference for a minimal cost.



One of the great clichés in real estate is to bake bread or brew coffee before inspections. I tend to avoid doing these things as buyers have heard about these ‘tricks’ and will go out of their way not to be fooled by them. Trying to mask smells with flavoured candles or plug-in air fresheners is also a mistake. The best smells are fresh flowers and a fresh breeze blowing through the property. We tend to avoid too many scented candles. Definitely stay away from incense. The scent can be too intense and alienate buyers.

Of all the senses, smell can be a turn-off, but rarely is it the thing that gets people excited. Take it out of the equation so the buyer can focus on the presentation and what the property offers. Logically, we should all know that smells can be removed from a home. But too often, that initial bad first impression is hard to overcome.

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