A new report has found home styling can increase both the sales price and number of bidders on auction day, but domestic smells offer little more than an opportunity to mask pet odours.
Alternatively, a cluttered kitchen bench, leaving indoor pet accessories about and household pet smalls are considered the biggest turn-offs.
LJ Hooker regional manager Dave Colman said agents believe most of the additional appeal of a property can be found in the kitchen and while unwanted smells need to be masked, introducing what may be considered an alluring smell can often be offputting.
“Our styling partner and The Block judge Darren Palmer believes disguising a seller’s attachment to a house is important in attracting a suitable buyer,” Mr Colman said.
“Sellers might think putting out freshly baked bread or brewed coffee gives a feeling of warmth at a home inspection, but it only reinforces the fact the property belongs to someone else.
“Our best agents believe distinct smells can have the opposite effect in securing a sale; putting out fresh flowers, baked bread or freshly brewed coffee won’t find the right buyer.”
A survey of LJ Hooker’s top 50 agents found more than half believe thoughtful styling can improve a home’s sale price by up to five per cent, 92 per cent of respondents believe it influences a quicker sale, with 88 per cent stating it triggered multiple offers through private treaty and a greater number of bidders on auction day.
Clearing up cluttered spaces and removing unwanted smells from properties were considered the most important things for sellers.
Partner of McGrath Crows Nest and top 3 finalist in the Shortest Days on Market category of the REB Top 100 list Peter Chauncy believes going to the effort of providing homemade baked goods and freshly-brewed coffee, for the smells alone, is perhaps trying a little too hard.
Mr Chaucey draws the line at using "virtual furniture" in brochures and said styling a home definitely has its place.
“We always get professional stylists in for every listing, and in consultation with clients we will ask if they want to do the styling themselves or get a stylist in to do it since it is an excellent way to add value,” Mr Chauncy said.
“I think certainly property styling is the done thing, but I’m not so sure about the smell of fresh brewed coffee and muffins. I have seen clients do it from time to time but I haven’t noticed a change in the mood of buyers… perhaps they are trying a bit hard.”