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Hold off on baked cookies when selling says WSU research

Some of the worst scents for real estate open houses: Potpourri, chocolate chip cookies, gourmet foods, and other baked goods.

Home shoppers have long paid attention to the smell of a home, but new research suggests that some common scents can actually be a drawback.

Eric Spangenberg, dean of the college of business at Washington State University, said that complex scents, like baked goods, can be a distraction to potential homebuyers because they'll subconsciously dedicate time to try to figure out what the scent is.

But at a real estate open house, you want a potential buyer not to be distracted by processing a smell.

"They are there to process whether this is a place they want to live," said Spangenberg.

Some of the worst scents for real estate open houses: Potpourri, chocolate-chip cookies, gourmet foods, and other baked goods.

Instead simple scents - like pine, lemon, and cedar - are easier to process and less distracting, Spangenberg said.

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