My shopping trip to Wegmans began with a powerful punch of fall scents – cinnamon, cloves…you get the idea.  I’m confident that I’m in the majority who enjoys this scent profile, but it reminds me of a conversation I often have with sellers as they prepare their homes to go on the market.

  1. Think CLEAN first, SCENT second. It’s easy to plug in an air freshener or spray some Febreeze, but trust me when I tell you that these will only mask undesirable smells.  Instead, deep clean your home from top-to-bottom and then introduce some buyer friendly smells.
    • Appliances: Clean the oven, stove, microwave, and refrigerator.  Buyers will open all of them and no scent is best in this case.  Be sure to put a fresh box of baking soda in the fridge to keep any new smells at bay.  Also, check out this Real Simple “Cleaning Kitchen Appliance Checklist.”
    • Carpet: I know that I will need to replace the stair carpeting in my home because my dog, Lucy has claimed the landing space as her own.  Pets or no pets, having your carpets (and upholstery) professionally cleaned prior to listing is always a great idea.  I love HomeShine Carpet Cleaning and their move out special.  You may also consider replacing carpet if it’s beyond saving.
    • Clothes: If you are living in your home while selling, it’s important to stay on top of the laundry.  Smelly gym bags and stinky socks are just a plain no-no.
    • Smoke – We need to have a conversation about this one because removing this scent is going to take some work. It all depends on how much and how long you have been smoking in the home.  Ozonator, new flooring, fresh paint are some options, but getting rid of the smell is an ABSOLUTE MUST.  It’s really best that there is no evidence of smoking because it’s a big turn off to buyers.
  2. Nose Pleasers.  A 2013 study published in the Journal of Retailing by Eric Spangenberg found shoppers spent an average of 8 % more money in a home decor store when it was scented with a simple orange scent, rather than a blend of scents.  Spangenberg says aromas may affect cognitive functions in the same areas of the brain involved in decision-making.  What’s the take away?  Skip the complex smells and use the most proven appealing simple scents such as: orange, lemon, basil, tea, cedar, pine, vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. A Little Goes a Long Way. The evidence shows that scents sell, but even the loveliest scent can be off-putting if it’s too concentrated.  I recently sold a house with an owner who is one of the 19% of Americans who have a reaction to air fresheners.  He had to wear a mask when the cleaning crew came in with their professional cleansers.  While this is an extreme example, it is an important to consider your buyers.  Remember to use the power of mother nature if you went a little overboard.  Open your windows and let fresh air work its magic! Little did.

Little did Kristen know that she was in training to be a realtor at an early age. Before the convenience of the internet, Kristen’s family went on Sunday afternoon drives looking for inspiration for the home they would eventually build. Today, Kristen is still in the car only now it’s as a realtor staying on top of the Northern Virginia real estate market – especially in Sterling, Cascades, Countryside, Potomac Falls, and Lowes Island. Prior to launching her real estate career, she was a consultant at Accenture helping federal agencies build innovative business solutions. As with her past role, each new client has unique needs and her flexibility allows her to hone in on a client’s expectations, and fulfill them.

Kristen lives in Sterling with her husband and their one year daughter, Ava. In her spare time, you will find her out and about enjoying all the fantastic family-friendly events in the area.

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