Yes, there is a best smell to sell your house, and it's probably exactly what you were thinking

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out the best smell to sell your house; even better, it works on people of all ages

bread makers
(Image credit: Getty Images)

And the best smell to sell your house is...yes, it is what you thought it was – the smell of freshly baked bread. You may have invested in the best reed diffusers with the most sophisticated scents, maybe even cleverly zoning your home fragrance scheme so that each room smells different. And yet, if your sole aim is to find the one smell that captivates home buyers again and again, you'd better get your stove going. 

According to a recent poll*, it doesn't even matter how old your potential buyers are, because the homely smell of freshly baked bread has the exact same positive effect on buyers who are 25 as it does on those who are 65. The only age groups you'll probably impress more with the scent of vanilla are 16-25-year-olds, but how many teenage home buyers are you likely to meet?

Harvey Jones blue kitchen

(Image credit: Harvey Jones)

And if you really aren't into baking? Fear not, there still are two trump cards up your sleeve: the smell of fresh laundry and freshly brewed coffee. In fact, 35-45-year-olds marginally prefer that fresh laundry smell to all others, although it's not always easy to create in your home unless you're literally doing laundry (not best for creating an impression of a tidy and organized home). Coffee is much easier, though – put a fresh pot on and you're guaranteed to get the home viewings off to a successful start. Do it right before, though, as stale coffee can smell quite bad. 

deVOL kitchen extension

(Image credit: deVOL)

If all of this is making your a little sad that you don't get to use your best candles, don't worry: there are plenty of room-specific fragrances that will let you explore your love of fragrance while attracting potential buyers. The exotic woody scent of sandalwood was voted the most attractive smell for living rooms and home offices, while the citrusy notes of bergamot and lime reigned supreme for kitchens.

Depending on what your own home fragrance preferences are there actually are quite a few scents to choose from; if you want to sell your house quickly, however, it's time to bring out the big guns and learn how to make sourdough (or cheat by reheating frozen bread, if you really can't be bothered with kneading dough).

* Poll of of 2,000 people by Bankrate UK

Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.