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smell of cookiesWhy a home should not smell at all

When selling a home, one major turnoff to buyers is smell. You may have heard that baking cookies for your open house can entice buyers to buy your home. But I am afraid to say that does not work. In fact, it can make some buyers run away. They know that trick and may actually feel like they are being sold a bit of goods. Of course, they might just nibble on the cookies but it won’t make them stay to look at the home. There should not be a smell in the home, whether good or bad and here is why.


Many people have developed allergic reactions to a certain smell. They might be allergic to your perfume, household cleaners or flowers. You don’t want to trigger an allergic reaction to a potential buyer because you thought it might help sell the house.

Pet smells do not sell homes faster

Our four-legged friends are part of the family but they can sometimes leave odors behind. Make sure the litter box is cleaned out every day. If there are any stains left by them, have the carpets professionally cleaned. Even if your pet does not smell bad, if your listing online shows pictures of the doggy bed or litter box, people are going to automatically assume the house smells bad. Remove those doubts and put away as many traces of your animal friends away as possible while your house is on the market.

Food/cooking smells

While your home is on the market, make sure the food you cook does not leave a strong smell behind. You want to avoid frying things like fish or chicken in the home especially before an open house. Plus you never know who will come into your home for a showing. During this time, you might want to consider eating out a bit if you really want that fried fish or curry chicken.

Neutral smell sells homes faster

So what smell should you have in your home? There should not be any smell at all. When a potential buyer comes into a home, their first comment should not be, “eww the house smells like…”

You want them to say, “What a nice living room! I wonder where they got that pretty painting.” See where I am going with this? They should not be distracted with a smell they cannot find. They should want to stay and walk around the home so they can imagine themselves living in there.

If you are not sure if your house smells, ask a trusted friend to come into your home and do the sniff test. Since you live in your home every day you may not pick up on it. Once you find the source of the smell, there are many tips you can do to remove the offending odor.

As you prepare your home to sell, be aware of the smell in your home. If it is a mold issue, don’t cover up the smell with fresheners. Fix the problem. Buyers will wonder what else you are trying to hide if they smell something off. And if you need other staging tips, download my free guide below.

Free Home Staging Starter Kit

plants to stage a home

Still not sure where to start? Download my free home staging starter kit to get easy tips you can do yourself.