5 Scents That Help Sell a House

various nice smelling things like cinnamon sticks

Selling a house is complex. One of the most important aspects of selling a home is how the home smells. Of course, no one wants to buy a stinky house. But scents that may smell nice but are overpowering can hurt appeal too. Here are five subtle scents that will help your homes smell clean and welcoming.


Citrus scents, such as lemon or orange, are fresh, fragrant, and long lasting. They also have a calming effect, which can make the home you’re showing feel more welcoming.


Vanilla is familiar, subtle, and inviting, It elicits a sense of comfort without being overpowering.

Herbal Remedy

Aromatic herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, and basil, are familiar, refreshing, and welcoming, especially in the kitchen.

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A/C Unit

Warm green tea on a wooden table.

Tea Time

Another fresh, clean scent that is particularly inviting is green tea. Crisp and lively, the scent is great for instilling a sense of harmony.

Wonderful Woods

Fragrant trees, such as pine and cedar, evoke a sense of warmth on a winter day or a memory of holidays. Look for these scents in candles, diffusers, heated oil plug-ins or in simmer pots to infuse your house with fragrance and fill potential buyers’ hearts with a great desire to call it home.

However, be careful not to overdo it with piney scents. Because they’re often used in cleaning supplies, pine scents can overwhelm people if you use them too heavily.

Scents to Avoid

Skip baking cookies and go for clean, simple fragrance

Don’t pop that tray of cookies in the oven just yet. A study conducted by researchers at Washington State University and Switzerland’s University of St. Gallen found sticking to simple scents is the best way to boost the sale and possibly the sale price.

Eric Spangenberg, former dean of the Washington State University College of Business who led the study, said simple scents allow people to focus on shopping, or in this case all they love about your home, rather than trying to determine the components of a complex scent. For example, their minds will wander to “Are those cookies in the oven chocolate chip or sugar?” when you want them to be absorbed in “I love these walk-in closets and this open floor plan.”

A white caucasian hand holding a cigarette whose ashes are tapped into an ashtray.

Cigarette smoke

Cigarette smoke is off-putting to many people, and it often lingers long after someone has stopped smoking. If you’re selling a smoker’s home, you may need to invest in deep cleaning to remove the odor from the carpets, walls, and any furniture.

Pet odors

Wet dogs, litter boxes, and the like are common culprits of bad smells. However, Sellers may be nose blind to these scents. Whenever possible, advise your Sellers to bathe their dogs and completely clean out their cats’ litter boxes before showing off their house.

Partnering with 2-10 offers a sweet smell of success

A smiling real estate agent handing keys to a new homeowner. The phrase Comprehensive, Flexible, Convenient: Cover Your Clients Deserve is on the left

Subtle scents can be a game changer for selling a house. Another game changer is a Home Service Plan from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty (2-10).

With Buyer and Seller Coverage from 2-10 , you can offer your clients protection against major breakdowns that can derail a sale. With industry-leading HVAC coverage, friendly customer support, and risk management for your transactions, 2-10 can help you add a sweet smell of success when you attach a Home Service Plan to all of your transactions.

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Add the industry-leading home service plan to your agent tool kit.

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