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What Is Scent Marketing in Real Estate?

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What Is Scent Marketing in Real Estate?


Almost six million homes were sold across the US in 2020—an unbelievable amount. With so much competition in the market, how can realtors make their listings stand out?

One secret weapon to add to your arsenal is scent marketing, a powerful way to help buyers connect with the homes you are selling. You are sure to know the importance of staging your home and making cosmetic improvements, but one more thing you can do is use scent in your open homes.

What is scent marketing, why is it effective, and how can realtors use it to sell more homes? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about scent marketing in real estate.

What Is Scent Marketing?

You might not be familiar with the term scent marketing, but it is something every realtor should get to know. We know that, out of the five senses, scent is the strongest–humans have what is known as olfactory receptor neurons, and whenever we smell something, they send an instant response to the brain.

So, whether you love a smell or hate it, you are likely to feel strongly about it each time you smell that scent.

How does this help real estate marketing? Essentially, scent marketing is the strategic use of scent in sales.

In real estate, this means using scent within your properties to make them more appealing to buyers. If done well, customers will hardly notice, so you do not need to go over the top when it comes to selecting your scent.

What Are the Benefits of Scent Marketing?

There are so many great reasons to make use of scent marketing. With so many homes for sale, it is one of the best things you can do to appeal to the right buyer.

Here are some of the best reasons to make use of scent when selling a home.

Set the Mood When Buyers Walk Inside the Home

Scent is amazing for setting the atmosphere the minute a buyer walks into a home. First impressions matter, so you only have seconds to wow a prospective buyer when they walk into the property.

A beautiful garden and yard will help with curb appeal, but once they walk inside, scent marketing can instantly set the mood.

Whether it is freshly-baked cookies in the kitchen or the comforting smell of laundry powder in the laundry room, the right scent turns a property from a house into a home. It will feel like home to buyers, and they will be able to imagine themselves living there.

The right scent will also make your home stand out. Buyers might be looking at 3-4 homes each Saturday, so they can quickly blend together. Your listing will definitely be more memorable with the help of scent marketing.

Evoke Powerful Memories

Another great reason to use scent is that it triggers memories. Many of us have fond memories of baking a cake with our mom in the kitchen as a kid or smelling that beautiful pine scent when putting up the family Christmas tree.

Nostalgia is extremely powerful, so why not use scent to remind buyers of amazing memories from days gone by? Everyone wants to make new family memories in their new home, so scent can help them picture this.

You can even tailor your scent to the seasons. For example, the beauty of spring is a great time to put fresh, fragrant flowers in the home. Or, in winter, a warming pine or vanilla will create a cozy atmosphere.

Encourage Buyers to Linger

Buyers have plenty of homes to view online, but if they make the decision to arrange an in-person inspection, you want to encourage them to stick around! On a subconscious level, the right smell can encourage people to linger, spending longer in the property.

Hopefully, the longer they spend in the home, the higher the chances of them liking it, which can lead to a purchase offer.

Make Buyers Feel Comfortable

Scent is also important for making a buyer feel comfortable. Buying a home is stressful, especially for first-time buyers.

Everyone is nervous about buying a property they might regret, especially after saving up for a deposit for so many years. So, soothing, positive scents can help them feel more relaxed and calm.

Which Scents Are Best to Use?

There are hundreds of aromas out there, but which ones are best for a real estate marketing strategy? Here are some of the most popular scents used when selling homes.


Citrus is an invigorating, powerful scent that most of us know and love. It is also associated with cleanliness, so that makes it a great smell to use within a kitchen or bathroom.

You can use citrus in several ways, including essential oils. Or, just slice up some citrus and put it in boiling water and let it simmer—it will get the scent to linger throughout the home.

For a visual, you can also add a few oranges, lemon, or grapefruit to a fruit bowl in the kitchen.


In the kitchen, if you are not using citrus, you might want to use coffee. We all love a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning, so the lovely smell of coffee beans can help a buyer picture themselves waking up in the house and making themselves a cup of coffee.

It is easy to include the aroma of coffee in the kitchen using freshly ground beans, candles, or oils. 


Another fantastic scent to use is vanilla. Vanilla extract is known for its calming properties, so it is a good one to use in the living or family room, areas where people would normally chill out and relax.

Vanilla can also help buyers feel happier, as it is often something we associate with our childhood. You can use vanilla in essential oil, a diffuser, or candles.

Since vanilla is often used in cooking, a tray of freshly-baked cookies can add to the ambiance as well!

Pine and Cedar

Cedar and pine are also lovely scents, especially in the winter months—or, in a home with a log fireplace. The powerful smell of pine can make you want to cozy up and relax while it snows outside, so it can help buyers picture themselves living in the home during winter.

What Scents Are Best Avoided?

Are there any scents that should not be used? In general, it is best to avoid very powerful scents that could overwhelm buyers.

This includes cleaning products, as some cleaners smell strongly of chemicals and bleach–not great for making people feel comfortable.

Sticking to one scent is also a good idea, as a blend of several smells can be confusing, as buyers will not be able to put their finger on what they are smelling.

Keep in mind that some people have allergies to perfumes and colognes, so do not spray them in rooms before an open house.

Whatever scent you select, remember that a little goes a long way! Your smell should complement the home, not dominate it.

How Can Realtors Include Scent in Their Marketing Plan?

Scent can easily become part of your marketing plan, along with 3D tours, professional photos, and online listings.

To use it, simply think about your target demographic and what would appeal to them—specifically, which scents would your target buyer most likely relate to?

You can find companies that sell scent machines designed for real estate use, but you can also do it yourself. Using things like fresh fruit, food, candles, and essential oils, it is easy to incorporate scent into your marketing plan without spending a fortune.

Sell Your Home Faster With Scent Marketing

If you are looking to sell your listings faster, scent marketing can play a huge role. Get started by deciding which scent would work best for your listings, then subtly add the aroma shortly before your open house is scheduled to begin.

We are here to help too—with plenty of resources of agents and national listings, Hommati is designed to help sellers and buyers connect. From virtual staging to 3D tours, we have plenty of tools to help agents showcase the best of their listings.

Contact us to find out more about how listing with Hommati can help your homes sell faster!