If you've ever wondered what the best smells to sell a house are, or even whether a fragrance really can help you sell your home, we have the answers.
Related: The best ways to fragrance your home
In short, yes a home that smells good really will increase your chances of selling your house quicker. On the flip side, a bad smell in your home is guaranteed to put off potential buyers.
But just what kind of scents are universally classed as good ones? After all, smell is considered to be a very subjective sense. As it turns out, the vast majority of us genuinely prefer the usual suspects where it comes to how a home should smell.
The one smell that will help you sell your house
According to a recent poll of 2,000 people by Bankrate UK (opens in new tab), our favourite home smells are pretty constant across all age groups. This may come as a surprise if you thought that the smell of freshly baked bread appeals mainly to slightly older home buyers dreaming of settling down.
Actually, freshly baked bread wins almost without fail among 25-34-year-olds, and among people over 45. There's just something about the smell of hot rising yeast that most of us find irresistible. We connect is with timeless concepts of home, regardless of our age.
This doesn't mean, of course, that you absolutely have to start baking your own bread just for the sake of pleasing potential buyers. Other forms of baking, including cookies and cakes, which can be less daunting than bread baking, also appear to be effective. Just avoid cooking anything savoury before viewings, as strong kitchen smells (that aren't from baking) will have the opposite of the desired effect on buyers.
Unless you're selling to a millenial
Interestingly, millennials were the only age group apart from teenagers – who all love vanilla, unsurprisingly – that had a different preference. Fresh linen appeals the most to millennials, more than the smells of baking.
So, if your potential buyer pool is within the 35-44 age group, you may choose to show them around on laundry day. Alternatively, if you'd rather not have them walk around your drying clothes, put on a linen-scented candle.
All adults over the age of 25 cited coffee in the top three of their scent preferences, confirming all the stereotypes about what people want to smell when they view a home. Lavender, vanilla, cinnamon, and freshly cut grass all featured in the top 10, proving that if you want to make your home as appealing as possible to buyers, stick to the classics – they're popular for a reason.
However, if you do want to try something a little more unusual, go for sandalwood. This woody oriental scent was voted as the most appealing one for living rooms and home offices.
If you want to help your kitchen or bathroom make a nice impression, go for citruses. The smell of bergamot, lemon, or lime all seem to work their magic of buyers who named them the best fragrance category for these rooms.
Anna Cottrell is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.
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