While roast lamb and baked cookie aromas rank highly for success at an open home, new report finds citrus is the top performer for inspections

A recent study on scents during an open-home inspection yielded some fascinating results. The survey, published on, featured TV chef Gary Mehigan and aroma specialist Dr Megan Thornton putting some of the most popular scents to the test to gauge prospective buyers’ perceived value of the home.

No surprise that the dirty socks smell detracted from the price.

The study also reveals that it isn’t just what we see that impacts our perceptions of a home. It is really important that we consider all the senses when a buyer or tenant inspects a property. The fresh aroma of citrus can give buyers the feel that the property looks and smells clean while also inviting.

Other scents to avoid include the overpowering smell of bleach as this can be a deterrent.

Tenanted properties can’t always be as easily staged due to a tenants’ right to their privacy and enjoyment of their home. Landlords could consider sending tenants a gift to compensate them for inconveniences and thank them for their help during the sales process. The gift could include a fragrant candle or fresh bouquet of flowers.

Top tips for a sweet-smelling, successful open home:

  • Use a scented candle, oil burner or a diffuser
  • Ensure bins are emptied regularly to avoid musty, rubbish smells
  • Keep windows and doors open where possible to ventilate the property
  • Air-conditioning should e used in warmer climates for showings but also keep the vents cleaned too  as their is nothing worse than a mouldy air-vent aroma

For green thumbs aromatic plants in the garden can be a winning feature.

Top choices include:

  • Jasmine vines
  • Rose geranium plants
  • Mock orange hedges
  • Frangipani trees

Where possible, always try to opt for real plants and arrangements within the home to accentuate the fresh and natural aromas. However, if you aren’t a green thumb, there are also some very real-looking alternative available.

Remember it doesn’t have to cost the earth, it is sometimes the simple cost-effective changes that can make a big difference in price.