Those fresh-baked cookies sure do smell good, but will they help you sell your home? The answer may surprise you!
Eric Spangenberg, dean of the college of business at Washington State University, and his co-authors recently conducted a study in Switzerland to determine just how much people’s spending is influenced by smell. The results? Turns out, the more complex the smell the less likely people are tend to spend money.
After studying 402 people for 18 days in a home-decor store, the researchers found that people spent, on average, 31.8% more when the store was scented with a simple orange smell vs. a complex blend of orange, basil, and green tea. Even more interesting, was that shoppers actually spent more when there was no scent present at all!
These findings fly in the face of common thought about the relationship between sales & smell especially in regards to real estate. Homeowners are often coached to create pleasing smells when potential buyers visit to encourage them to buy. However, according to Spangenberg, complex smells such as baked goods and potpourri may produce the opposite effect. Spangenberg says this has to do with the fact that even pleasant complex scents can be a distraction to buyers who subconsciously devote time and energy trying to determine what the smell is rather than focusing on the product, or in this case, the home.
So how should you use smells to help encourage, rather than discourage the sale of your home? Spangenberg recommends using natural, simple scents such as lemon, orange, pine, or cedar, and encourages people to think about what makes sense in the environment of your home. For example, pine might work well for a mountain cabin, but would be out of place, distracting, and therefore discourage the purchase of a beach house.
So, if you’re selling your home, take a few minutes and assess the smells buyers smell when they walk through your door. Though we can’t make any promises, it may make a difference between a casual looker, and a motivated buyer!