It is common practice for real estate agents to pop baked goods in the oven before an open house or light some fragrant candles in order to create an aromatic environment. “They always tell you to take a bunch of cookie dough and shove it in the oven, so long as it doesn’t burn,” says Adorna Occhialini Carroll, president of the realty training and consulting firm Dynamic Directions. “I like pumpkin pie, butter cookies, anything that has that great combination of spices and gives you the impression of being at home.” New research suggests, however, that these kinds of complex smells hurt, not help, sales. The reason, according to Eric Spangenberg of Washington State University, is because consumers get distracted in trying to determine what complex scents are. He recommends using simple but pleasing options such as lemon, vanilla, pine, green tea, cedar, and basil while avoiding potpourri, baked goods, and gourmet foods. Spangenberg’s research found that shoppers in a Swiss home-decor retailer spend 31.8 percent more when the store was scented with a simple orange smell compared to a complex blend of orange, basil, and green tea. In addition to selecting a simple aroma, he says the smell must match the kind of property being sold — cedar for a mountain home, perhaps, but not a cottage at the beach. “You need to think, ‘What scent will buyers associate with this environment?'” he explains. “It must be simple and positive and congruent.” | Read More