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  • Writer's pictureLindsay Durbin

Best Scents for Staging Your Home

Updated: Feb 1

What are some of your favorite scents? Are they nostalgic? Do they remind you of being at grandma's house making cookies together? Does the smell of freshly cut grass take you back to your childhood? No matter what scents you prefer, some of your favorite scents might be turning off your potential buyers.

It's always best to keep it nice and neutral when selling your home. Back in 2013 when I sold my first home, I went to Yankee Candle, wholeheartedly intending to purchase some sort of "cookie"-type fragrance. Luckily, the nice employee recommended "Sage & Cirtus" and said it'd always been a hit for home sellers. I took her advice, purchased some wax melts (remember those?), and strategically placed them in the main areas of my home. 6 days after listing I had an offer! There were certainly more factors at play here than the smell of my home, however

smell is one of the most important things to remember when selling your home.

Additionally, if you have pets, OR are a smoker, it would be wise to ask a friend to come over and give you an unbiased opinion on the current state of smells at your home.

NEW FLASH: Just because you smoke outside, in the garage, in your car, etc, does not mean that your house does not smell like smoke. The smell gets into your hair, on your pets, and your clothing and then travels into your home. YES, even the most "responsible" smokers.

If the smoke smell is too extreme, you're going to have to do a lot of work to make your home smell pleasant for potential buyers. Repainting your entire home & replacing all of the carpet is not a fun route to take and it can be extremely costly.

So, without further ado, here are three of the best scents to use when selling your home:




Stick with one primary scent for your whole home. You don't need a borrage of scents to overwhelm a buyer as they are touring your home.

How to incorporate the scent into your home:

  • My top choice: Essential Oil Diffusers... not because I am "woo-woo" or into oils, but, because this delivery method is light and not overpowering. Plug-in air fresheners that go into electric outlets are often really overpowering and somewhat "fake" smelling and can scare off buyers.

  • Reed diffusers are great for bathrooms and closets

  • If you are a techy type, OR if your home is vacant, you might want to invest in a few Pura plug-in's. I personally use these in my home and appreciate the fact that I can set the intensity and keep these on a schedule. Check them out here.

Tips for Smokers & Pet Owners

  • Clean yo' carpet! Hire a professional company to clean all carpeted areas. If you are the DIY type, rent a RugDoctor or equivalent. Rug Doctor makes a special liquid solution for pets

  • Wash your furniture; wipe it down or use a professional cleaning machine such as this

  • Clean your walls with a soft rag & warm, soapy water

  • Open your windows (weather permitting)

  • If you are a smoker, rent an Ozone Machine to remove the smoke smell prior to your showings. The Ozone machine can emit a funky smell after use, so you should do this about 1 week prior to your showings and then invest in several essential oil diffusers.

  • If you are a smoker, change your clothes in the garage or before going into your home. Place your clothes in a garbage bag or directly in the washing machine.

Staging Story Corner

A few years ago I had a client who had 2 very large dogs. The home entirely reeked of pet-smell. And yes, I *always* have to do my due dilligence of letting clients know. Once we acknowledge the problem, we can come up with ways to tackle it, right? I recommended purchasing several small essential oil diffusers and strategically placing them in the home. The clients did not take my advice and purchased a bunch of vanilla electric outlet plug-ins instead. I received a phone call from their realtor who said the showings were not going well because potential buyers were turned off by the overpowering vanilla scented wall plug-ins. Think of how many potential buyers they lost because of the way their home smelled. It's like I always say... you only get one chance to make a first impression!

Thanks for stopping by! Please check us out in Instagram @HomeCraftStaging for more

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