Science of selling real estate: What does a good property price smell like?
By Amanda Scali

28/04/2016 10:20am

Science of selling real estate: What does a good property price smell like?

Even if you have a good nose for real estate, did you know that using smell to influence buyers is not a new concept?

Do you know what a good property price smells like?

The old adage of real estate agents putting cookies in the oven before an open house is a well-known sales tactic.

And big business is at it too.

A study run by Nike showed an 80 per cent increase in sales when adding scents to their stores, and a petrol station saw in increase of coffee sales of 300 percent when they added the scent of coffee into the shop.

The scent of your home can subconsciously influence a buyers interest

Smell has a direct influence over emotions and how we feel.

It is also the sense with the closest link to memory; the smell of the ocean might remind you of a particular holiday and therefore make you feel happy, the scent of a gum leaves might remind you of bushwalks or gardens, and so on.

Intrinsically linked to mood and energy, smells therefore are one of the most powerful tools for evoking emotion, with studies showing there is a physical and psychological response in just four seconds.

However, recent studies suggest that for home buying, those traditional scents of bread baking, cookies in the oven, and floral candles might actually distract a buyers attention.

Subconsciously, people dedicate time and energy figuring out what the complex aroma is, which actually distracts buyers from the task in hand – viewing the open house.

They are also seen as tacky and too obvious to the more discerning buyers of today.

So what scents do bring about a successful property sale?

Studies have shown that using simple scents, such as pure lemon or pine, work best, for several reasons.

Firstly, because they they are easily recognised, the scent immediately registers with the subconscious and sticks in the memory of the buyer more than even the fixtures and fittings.

Secondly, these scents are known to be relaxing and uplifting, enticing people to stop for a while and enjoy being in the space, and begin to imagine if they could live there.

At McGrath Real Estate we encourage our vendors to place an oil burner with citrus scent in your entrance hall or near the front door 20 minutes prior to an open house.

Something doesn't smell right

The scent, however, cannot be out of place.

Key to selecting a smell is choosing one that resembles the atmosphere you are trying to reflect in your home. For example:

  • A country home might use basil or mint, a calming space might suit pine or sage.
  • Beachside homes are perfectly suited to citrus scents, which are energising and uplifting.
  • Lemon also has a soothing effect, helping prospective buyers relax as they view the property.

Keep the scent light by using candles and oil burners rather than overpowering sprays.

And use the same scent for every open house, building a connection and memory with those buyers that return for a second viewing.

Our team at McGrath Real Estate prides itself on thinking deeply about real estate and applying the best that science offers to help you get the best price for your property.

Photo: My haul by Leslie Seaton  via Flickr