When I first became an agent I had the honor of working with Mary Lenk co-owner of Lenk/Friedberg Properties. She taught me many invaluable lessons as to how to make myself into a better realtor such as always keeping a fully stocked cosmetic bag and complete file folder with purchase contracts and disclosures in my car – as you never know when you will be making your next deal. On one occasion she took me to a showing of her listing in Englewood and  we arrived early for the appointment. We went inside and as she guided me to the kitchen she pulled out a bag of cinnamon and cloves, immediately began shuffling through the kitchen cabinets to find a pot, and then began to boil the concoction in water instantly soothing the air and lending the home the smell of a ski lodge in winter.

I told her I was impressed but internally I was rolling my eyes; “is someone really going to buy this home because it smells like cinnamon” I thought to myself? 

Not long after, as my business began picking up, I had a listing of my own, A cute 3 bedroom home that I thought would be perfect for this young family that was coming to check out Teaneck. The house was always kept nicely and in good order. I did not feel it was necessary for this home to go through the “ski lodge” smelling treatment in order to get it sold. 

The day of the showing came and as we walked in the front door I could immediately sense something was off… You could hear from the entryway the gentle sizzle of the pan as the children’s favorite dinner of fried fish was being expertly prepared in the kitchen. 

The smell, the grease, the smoke, the fishiness… it  was suffocating. My buyers rushed through the showing so that they could retreat back to the safety of the outdoors and into the fresh air. After a few breaths and some laughing the wife looked at me and said… “what else can you show us?” 

I have spoken in these pages many times before about what makes a home click for a buyer – I had to learn the hard way that smell is no small part of what allows that chemistry to happen.

Nechama Polak is the Broker of Record and Owner of V and N Group LLC. V & N Realty is located at 1401 Palisade Ave in Teaneck, NJ. Feel free to email Nechama at nechamapolak@gmail.com or call 201.826.8809.