The Nose Knows

noseToday I learned the hard way that I need to add one more thing to my official “Seller Do’s and Don’ts” manual.

Today we were out with buyers and walked into a home they had wanted to see. As we came through the front door we were assaulted (no, that is not over stating it) with an orange/citrus scent. It may have been one of those scented air filters or it may have been some over used air freshener. Whatever it was, I was only in the house about 10 minutes when my lungs began to feel like they were in a vise grip and it was imperative that I get outside for some fresh air. It was a little scary, frankly, and my lungs continued to feel constricted the rest of the day.

I have only a mild asthma condition and have never had a reaction to a scent like this in the past, but I clearly had one today. We all commented on the strong smell when we walked in, and luckily, no one else had a similar reaction. The buyers did say, though, that the strong scent made them wonder what the sellers were trying to cover up.

Years ago cologne companies thought it would be a great way to sell their product by putting scented advertising inserts in magazines. It backfired when consumers with chemical sensitivities and allergies to certain scents complained and quit buying their magazine.

The same idea applies when it comes to selling homes. A seller has no idea who is going to be walking through their door. Personally, I ask buyers a lot of questions when we start working together but I’ve never asked a client if they have allergies or any sensitivity to scents. I may start.

For me, the best scent for a house is no scent at all and the best way to neutralize a home is to avoid unpleasant odors by having a clean home. Indoor cats present a challenge of their own but there are remedies for that as well but that’s a blog for another day.

So my seller tip of the day is to lay off the room fresheners and that includes scented candles. Selling a home is hard enough as it is without sending potential buyers (and their agents) running for the door to get a breath of fresh air.

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