When it comes to selling your home, first impressions matter—a lot. While staging and decluttering are essential, one aspect that often gets overlooked is the scent of your home. Unwanted odors from appliances, pets, smoke, or even just everyday living can turn off potential buyers. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can ensure that your home smells inviting and appealing to anyone who walks through the door.

Deep Clean: Start by giving your home a thorough cleaning. This means more than just a quick once-over. Pay special attention to areas where odors tend to linger, such as carpets, upholstery, curtains, and pet bedding. Consider hiring professionals for carpet cleaning or upholstery steam cleaning to ensure that any embedded odors are completely eradicated.

Air it Out: Open up windows and doors to let in fresh air and allow stale odors to dissipate. This is especially important if your home has been closed up for an extended period. Airing out your home regularly can help prevent odors from becoming trapped and lingering.

Use Natural Odor Absorbers: Instead of masking odors with artificial air fresheners, opt for natural odor absorbers like baking soda or activated charcoal. Place bowls of baking soda around the house or invest in activated charcoal bags to absorb odors without releasing any additional fragrances.

Freshen Up Fabrics: Wash and launder any fabric items in your home, including bedding, curtains, towels, and upholstery. Use a detergent with a fresh, clean scent and consider adding a cup of vinegar to the wash to help neutralize odors. Don’t forget to regularly wash pet bedding and toys to keep pet odors at bay.

Neutralize Pet Odors: Speaking of pets, they can be a major source of unwanted odors in the home. Keep litter boxes clean and fresh, and bathe pets regularly to reduce pet dander and odors. Consider using pet-specific odor neutralizers or sprays to target problem areas.

Address Cooking Odors: Cooking smells can linger in the kitchen long after the meal is over. To combat this, make sure to clean your kitchen thoroughly after cooking, including wiping down countertops, appliances, and surfaces. Use a simmer pot with water, citrus slices, and herbs like rosemary or thyme to naturally freshen the air.

Banish Smoke Odors: If you’re a smoker or if you have smoked indoors in the past, it’s crucial to eliminate any lingering smoke odors. Wash walls, ceilings, and windows to remove smoke residue, and consider using a smoke odor eliminator spray or fogger to neutralize odors trapped in fabrics and upholstery.

Here are some additional ways to make your home smell good for potential buyers:

Utilize Essential Oils: Essential oils can be a natural and pleasant way to infuse your home with inviting scents. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, such as lavender, citrus, or eucalyptus, to a diffuser or spray bottle filled with water. Mist the air or run the diffuser before potential buyers arrive to create a welcoming atmosphere.

Fresh Flowers and Plants: Bring the outdoors in by placing fresh flowers or potted plants throughout your home. Not only will they add visual appeal, but they’ll also emit a subtle, natural fragrance. Consider flowers like roses, jasmine, or lilies, which are known for their pleasant scents.

Bake Something Delicious: Few scents are as universally appealing as the aroma of freshly baked goods. Whip up a batch of cookies, brownies, or bread before a showing to fill your home with the irresistible scent of home-baked treats. Bonus points for leaving out a plate of goodies for potential buyers to enjoy!

Scented Candles: Scented candles are a classic way to add fragrance to your home. Choose candles with light, fresh scents like clean linen or ocean breeze, rather than heavy, overpowering fragrances. Place them strategically throughout your home, but be sure to extinguish them before leaving the house.

Potpourri or Scented Sachets: Display bowls of potpourri or sachets filled with dried flowers, herbs, and spices to add a touch of fragrance to your home. Place them in closets, drawers, or other small spaces where odors tend to linger for a continuous, subtle scent.

DIY Room Spray: Create your own room spray by mixing water with a few drops of essential oil in a spray bottle. Shake well and mist the air throughout your home to freshen up any lingering odors. You can customize the scent to your preference and adjust the strength by adding more or fewer drops of essential oil.


By following these tips, you can ensure that your home smells fresh and inviting to potential buyers. Remember, a pleasant scent can go a long way in creating a positive impression and making your home more attractive to prospective buyers. So don’t overlook this important aspect of preparing your home for sale—your nose (and your wallet) will thank you!