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Category Archives: Seller Information

Information pertinent to Frederick home sellers.

Increase Your Home Value – Maintain and Repair

Increase Your Home Value – Maintain and Repair

There are several things you can do as a homeowner to spruce up your home to help maintain value or even increase your home value.  Sometimes in the busy-ness of life we forget about home maintenance.  When we decide to sell our home, the mile-long list of things we need to do to get it market-ready can be daunting.  If you find yourself in that position, consider doing the less costly fixes first.

Increase Your Home Value – Maintain and Repair

1. Consider First Impressions. Cleaning up the yard and entrance to your home takes little more than muscle and energy. Cut back overgrown shrubs and plantings.  Spray or sprinkle some kind of weed-and-feed product (Scotts has always been my fave.)  Power-wash sidewalks, walkways, decks, and the outside of house, if needed. You can rent a power-washer for a day and it will make a huge difference.  There are also power-washing companies that will take the work off your hands.

If you don’t do anything else, paint the front door and replace an old, worn door handle, and the kickplate if it’s dingy. Plant some inexpensive flowers, in pots if you don’t have a suitable garden area. These curb appeal items can be an easy part of yearly maintenance. Keeping your front entry in good shape can be an easy task throughout the time you own your home, so it can be checked off the list before you even decide to sell.

2. Consider flooring. Look down. If your carpet is not too worn, a simple cleaning will do wonders.  If you need to replace carpets, find a mid-grade, neutral color.  We’ve always recommended “Tea Stain”, but with today’s decor trends, a light gray is also a good choice.  It will appeal to the most people.  If your hardwoods are dingy, first try buffing to renew their gleam.  If there are too many scratches and dings, you might need to refinish them.

Increase Your Home Value - Maintain and RepairAs with all home maintenance, keeping your carpets and floors in good shape will help you get more longevity out of them. The expense of new flooring can be saved if the floors are already in good shape when it’s time to sell. Covering high traffic areas with throw rugs can help with longevity of your floors. One of the best ways to increase your home value is to take care of, and update the large areas, like flooring.

3. Consider lighting. Look up. If your light fixtures are dated, get some new ones at Home Depot or Lowes, or any other big box store.  You can find some very nice fixtures for a reasonable cost.  Make sure you use the brightest bulbs possible.

Keeping your lighting updated throughout the time you own your home will not only save you a chunk of money when it’s time to sell…you get to enjoy greater energy savings and more stylish fixtures while you live in the home.

Clean and Neutral

4. Paint covers a multitude of sins. And it’s not expensive. Again, select neutral colors, as they have the broadest appeal. Remember, neutrals don’t have to be white and beige. Grey is a very popular neutral shade today. Most buyers need to be able to envision their furniture in your home, and if your colors and style are too much out of their comfort zone, they will usually not stretch their imagination too far. Even if a potential buyer likes bold colors, its still easy for them to “imagine” their favorite colors in your home if you have a palate of neutrals for them to start with.neutral colors

Most homes take wear and tear with daily living. Decorators recommend painting every 5 to 6 years, just to keep the walls fresh and clean.

5.  Get rid of the stuff!  Its amazing how much stuff we collect, without even trying.  Pare down, thin out, pack away, de-clutter, whatever.  Consider renting a storage unit if need-be, people need to see themselves living there, with all of Their Stuff, so give them room to do so.

6.  Give your house a good cleaning, even if it means hiring maid service for a single clean.  A dirty house is a turn-off to prospective buyers.  When you have it all clean, start making the small repairs that you’ve been avoiding.  Replace window seals, fix the leaks, grout, etc.

7.  Consider Staging.  A professional stager will make a big difference.  The psychology of space is an important factor, and the stager will help you present your space in the best possible light. [We know a couple of good local Stagers]

 

Kitchens and Baths Sell Homes

Increase Your Home Value - Maintain and Repair

8.  Pay attention to Bathrooms and Kitchens.  Now we’re talking about more expensive fixes, but you can start small and work your way up over time.  Start with small tasks, like cleaning or redoing grout, or caulk.

Replace fixtures one at a time. If you need a new appliance, make sure you replace it with an energy star appliance.  Check out Lowes or Best Buy for their “Open Box” sales, the demos that they sell for 30 to 40% off.  [We got a great dishwasher that way.]

They are the most expensive to update, so if they require little to no work, buyers tend to be more interested. Cosmetic updates can go a long way, but keep in mind the comparable homes that are on the market. If the norm for your home is granite counters and stainless-steel appliances, (although there are alternatives to stainless-steel appliances), then you will want to be competitive when your home goes on the market.

Keeping up with repairs and maintenance throughout the time you own your home is the best way to increase your home value and be prepared to sell without a lot of last minute, expensive work.

Related Articles:

Kitchen Trends

Bathroom Trends

Quick and Easy Bathroom Updates

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Contact us for recommendations for Stagers, Home Repair, Roofing, Handyman services, HVAC… we have a list of trusted services.

 

How Seniors Can Make A Big Move Into A Smaller Home

How Seniors Can Make A Big Move Into A Smaller Home

Making a move is a serious decision, and it can be an overwhelming task even when you’re prepared. For many seniors who decide to downsize and move into a smaller home, the planning stage is the most important. Knowing what you want, what you don’t want, and how to find help when you need it can be invaluable, yet many seniors don’t have all the information before they make these key decisions about their future, and this can lead to stress, anxiety, and a lengthy, drawn-out buying process.

Here are a few tips on how to make the right decision for you and find the perfect place to live.

Make a plan

Having a plan is essential before you even put your house up for sale. Think about the type of residence you want; do you want to buy a home, or rent? Do you need something that doesn’t have stairs, or a smaller lawn that won’t require much upkeep? How easy will it be to find a home with the amenities you’re looking for if you or your spouse is confined to a wheelchair or uses a walker? It might be advantageous to consult a real estate agent who can help you find exactly what you need and narrow down the field to save you time. They can also help you find financial assistance, which is available to seniors in many states.

Downsize

It’s imperative to go through your belongings before you pack and pull aside items marked for “trash,” “keep,” or “donate”. It may be difficult to consider getting rid of some of your things, especially if you’ve lived in the same place for a long time and have accumulated a lot of memories, but remember that it will be a good thing in the end. You can get help from a friend or family member; in fact, it might be best to have family there if you want to pass down some of your belongings to them.

Also, keep in mind that things such as photo albums can be downsized if you scan the photos and upload them to a thumb drive, which can be used in a digital picture frame. This is a huge spacesaver and can also help with eliminating clutter around the house or freeing up shelf space.

Pack smart

If you’ve lived in the same place for a long time, it might be overwhelming to look at the rooms in your house and think about packing it all up. However, if you start in one area and pack smart, you can get it done quickly and efficiently. Prepare with lots of different-sized boxes and try to pack things from each area together, so they’ll be easy to find and put away in the new house. Make out a packing list to tape to the outside of the box; this will especially come in handy for kitchen items and necessities.

Ask for help

Moving is a big job, and getting it done will take some help. Enlist friends and able-bodied family members to help with the smaller things, and, if you have the extra cash, hire a moving company to help you get the heavy pieces to your new place. If you don’t have family members who live nearby, you might be able to ask your church or a nearby senior center for help.

Thanks to our Guest Author: Jim Vogel, for these excellent tips on how seniors can make a big move into a smaller home. Photo via Pixabay by Meditations

Real Estate Terminology – What is Absorption Rate?

Real Estate Terminology – What is Absorption Rate?

What is “Absorption Rate”?

The Absorption rate is roughly how long it will take the current homes on the market to sell. It’s an estimate, based on  the current number of listings and current sales. Because those two factors fluctuate from month to month,  absorption rate is a rough estimate. It’s an average of how many homes sell each month, based on a 6-month calculation, because anything less than 6 months is too small a sample, and anything greater than 6 months wouldn’t give an accurate picture of what’s going on with values in an area.

If I get the total number of homes that have sold for the last 6 months in an area, say a Frederick zip code or a Frederick County town or, better yet, a neighborhood, and then divide by 6, I’ve got an absorption rateAverage number of homes that sell each month.

If I take the total inventory, or how many homes are on the market in a given area, and divide by the absorption rate, I get the months of inventory, or how long it will take to sell all of the homes in the chosen area (if no more homes were listed).

Why is Absorption and Months of Inventory important?

These numbers are important to buyers as well as sellers. An absorption rate of about four to six months indicates a balanced real estate market.   Balanced means a market that does not favor the buyer or the seller.  An absorption rate of less than four months indicates a seller’s market.   An absorption rate of more than 6 months indicates a buyer’s market.

Home Sellers

To a seller, these numbers tell them whether their home is positioned correctly in the market. If they need to sell in 3 months and the absorption rate in their neighborhood is 6 months, then they will need to price their home to sell, without taking months to adjust the price as they test the market.

The absorption rate tells the seller what the normal time on market is for their current market. If their home doesn’t sell in the time that the average comparable home sells, then they know that something is amiss. They will know how accurate, or inaccurate, their pricing is when they find themselves still on the market after the average time for their area.

Home Buyers

For a buyer, the opposite can be discerned. If they see a home that has been on the market for longer than the average time for that neighborhood or community, they will think either two thoughts: 1) something is wrong with the house, or 2) the house is overpriced.  These homes often receive low-ball offers because of these perceptions.

Understanding real estate terminology, absorption rate for one, helps to navigate the market, negotiate and have proper expectations. Both buyers and sellers can learn how to get the best possible outcome in their market by understanding local market trends.

Contact us for a consultation to find out how much your home is worth in today’s Frederick Real Estate Market.

The Highland Group
Chris & Karen Highland 
301-401-5119
eXp Realty – 410-777-5714

Four Reasons Your Home is NOT Selling

Four Reasons Your Home is NOT Selling

Homes Don’t Sell for A Reason

The statistics say it’s taking an average of 60 days to sell a house in Frederick County. When a house is on the market for much longer than the average time of comparable homes, there are reasons the home is not selling. Many sellers don’t realize they can hurt their chances of selling their home by doing one or any of these things:

1. Overpricing their home.  When the number of homes on the market is at an all-time high, about twice as much as a normal Frederick Market, sellers need to realize that buyers have the luxury of choice.  They will choose the best house for the least money. Normal market forces make that fact more of a reality than ever.Pricing Your home right from the start

When the inventory is low, like it has been for a while, homes that are priced right and in their best condition sell in a matter of days or weeks. When a house lingers on the market in a hot seller’s market, you can be pretty sure that the asking price is not right for the house. The home needs to be positioned correctly on the market to attract the attention of likely buyers. Remember, most buyers are trusting the advice of their buyer’s agent, who more than likely are educating them on the on the market value of each home they see.

2.  Not keeping a house in the best Condition is a sure-fire way for a seller to send a buyer down the street.  Even when competition is high in the real estate market, buyers are viewing homes in a certain price range, comparing them all as they shop. Buyers choose the house in the best condition at the best price. The only way to position the house in the market when the condition is less than other like homes is to adjust the price.

3. One of the best ways to keep your house from being sold is to keep it from being shown.  Being unavailable or making it hard to show is not a good strategy.  If a buyer’s agent has difficulty getting the OK to show your house, they will move on to the other houses on their list, and chances are, they won’t come back.  The best way to sell a home is to be very flexible on showing times and to temporarily do as much as possible to arrange your life around the goal of selling your home. And keep your cell phone in your pocket. The sooner you sell your home, the sooner your life gets back to normal.

real estate listings4. Lack of proper Marketing is another way to keep your home from selling.  By proper marketing, I mean modern internet marketing, where over 92% of buyers are looking.  Sellers need to make sure their listing agent is advertising on the many real estate websites that are on the web. Internet marketing demands professional photos, high-definition video, and a detail-rich description.

By following these tips and using an experienced local real estate agent, you will have success in selling your home in the least amount of time for the best price for your market.  Your house can be one of the homes that sell in 30 days or less, instead of the house that lingers on the market.

Contact Chris Highland for our High-Touch High-Tech Listing Plan. 

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The Highland Group
Chris & Karen Highland
eXp Realty 

Ten Reasons to Sell Your House This Holiday

Ten Reasons to Sell Your House This Holiday

The Holidays are Are A Great Time to Sell Your Home!

Thinking about selling your home? Maybe to downsize, or move up, or even go somewhere warm?

Many sellers are waiting for spring, but why wait? Why wait for more competition? The Holidays are a great time to sell your home. Here are 10 good reasons to NOT wait:

  1. There is a good supply of buyers this year. Motivated buyers, not just recreational buyers. There are serious buyers who need to relocate for various reasons.
  2. There is less competition during the Holidays, which is a good thing when you want to stand out. Most buyers are looking online, and they’ll find you much easier when there are fewer homes on the market.
  3. You home looks great! Christmas decorations are lovely.
  4. Your neighborhood looks great too.
  5. Buyers who are searching have more time to look when they are off work during the holidays.
  6. Your REALTOR understands it’s the holiday season and you can show your home when you want.
  7. Everyone is in a good mood, because it’s the holidays.
  8. Sell your home now and you’ll be in a better negotiating position, without a home to sell.
  9. Interest rates are super low right now.
  10. If you sell now, you won’t have to mow the lawn ever again!

Contact the Highland Group and we’ll help you get it sold!

How to Blow Up Your Home Sale

How to Blow Up Your Home Sale

What NOT To Do In A Home Sale

Congratulations! Your home is under contract. It may seem like you’ve run a half marathon to get to this juncture, but the end is in sight! You’ve managed to find the buyer for your home. So now you want to see it to the end, right? You don’t really want to blow it up… I admit, I’ve sensationalized the title of this post… but not by a wide stretch. We’ve seen a few transactions blow up over the years. It’s best to be aware of some of the things that can possibly sabotage your home sale:

Mistake #1: Don’t make the effort to fix things that break.

If a fixture or system in the home breaks when the home is about to be purchased, sellers must make the repairs. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes it happens. If a major system of the house fails, get a professional to fix it, and let the buyers know. When you fail to maintain the home, the buyers will probably lose confidence in the condition of the home and back out of the sale.

Mistake #2: Don’t use licensed contractors

home improvementIf your contract requires you to do something before the sale, do it. If the buyers make the sale contingent on certain repairs, don’t do cheap patch-jobs and expect the buyers not to notice the fixes weren’t done properly.

It’s unfortunate, but sometimes sellers try to cut corners, when repairs have been agreed to. Sometimes we see that they’ve called in “handy uncle Joe” to fix items. If the home inspection negotiation has been signed by both parties, and the buyer requests a licensed contractor to make the repair, it is an obligation.  Using a licensed contractor is in the best interest of the buyer and the seller. They are bonded and insured, and there is usually some kind of warranty to their work. It will be in everyone’s best interest to not only keep the home sale on track, but to mitigate against future problems that may arise.

Mistake #3: Ignore contingencies

Contingencies have deadlines. The first statement in the Maryland contract reads “time is of the essence.” That means when time runs out, you are out of contract. The buyer has no obligation to go through with the purchase.  If you don’t meet contracted deadlines, the contract becomes voidable. Treat deadlines as the law. If you have three days to accept or reject the home inspection, make your decision within two days. Always leave a buffer for problems that may arise.

It’s not a good idea to assume you can just extend the contract. Sometimes buyers will think that you are not serious and might just walk away. Often buyers have hard deadlines that must be met: loan locks that expire, move out dates from their current residence, or a deadline for a new job, just to name a few.

Mistake #4: Become Rigid about further negotiations

Once you’ve negotiated a price, it might be easy to start your calculations about how much first rule of negotiationsmoney you’ll walk away with from the closing table. However, problems uncovered during the home inspection may have to be fixed. The appraisal may come in at a price below the contracted price and the buyer and seller will have to negotiate what steps to take and what to do about the difference. Remain flexible throughout the transaction and remember that the negotiations aren’t over until the documents are signed and the key is delivered.

Mistake #5: Hide liens from buyers

Did you forget to mention that you owe six months of homeowners association fees or that Uncle Sam has placed a tax lien on your home? The title search is going to turn up any liens filed on your house. To sell your house, you have to pay off the lien. It’s great if you can do that with the sales proceeds, but if not, the sale probably isn’t going to close, and you’ve wasted a lot of time and energy and emotion.

Disclosing everything fully from the beginning will be your best opportunity to find out if there are solutions that will make your home sale possible. That’s much better than crossing your fingers and hoping.

real estate success

Hopefully, no one will run into any of these issues. But it helps to go into the home selling process with information about the many possibilities, and an open mind. Selling your home is a stressful experience, so it always helps to have proper expectations from the start. When the unexpected happens, you want to have a game plan and a game face to get you through to the finish line.

What To Do Right to Keep Your Home Sale on Track

And now that you know what NOT to do, here is a collection of great articles to help you keep your home sale on track:

  • In this article, The Typical Issues in a Home Inspection, Jeff Knox shares the 10 items that most often show up as problems. This would be a big help to look out for these things and get them fixed right away.
  • How To Prevent Home Closing Failure. Paul Sian, Realtor in Greater Cincinnati, OH and Northern KY, has some good advice for both buyers and sellers about preventing a blow up before settlement. It’s worth mentioning that sellers would do well to have an experienced local agent who knows how to vet the buyer’s financing. This can help mitigate against the possibility of their financing not going through.
  • Selling Your Home and the Buyer Cancels. Yikes! It can happen, although it’s not often. Debbie Drummund, Las Vegas Luxury Home Sales, has some great advice on what to do when a home buyer backs out of the purchase.
  • In this article, Top 8 Reasons A Real Estate Deal Falls Apart, Kyle Hiscock, Rochester NY Realtor, points out the typical problems that cause a deal to fall through. Notably, not using an experienced listing agent.  Having an experienced and competent real estate agent working on your behalf will give you the best odds that your deal will NOT fall through!

Home Shopping: The Square Footage Dilemma

Home Shopping:  The Square Footage Dilemma

I like to watch several series on HGTV. “House Hunters” is one of them. I like to see the different home values in different locations across the country. One of the things that always makes me scratch my head, though, is when they use the price-per-square-foot calculation.

 

In the real world of real estate, no one really does that, at least not when it comes to market value and what buyers will and have been paying for a home. Builders use price-per-square-foot calculations for their own purposes, and commercial real estate uses that statistic to price out properties for rent.

 

When referring to residential real estate, comparing home values from one home to another is rarely ever an apples-to-apples comparison. Determining the market value of a home is a multi-faceted process. There are several reasons…

  • First of all, a home with lots of high-end upgrades is going to command a higher selling price than a similar sized home with basic features. Buyers just aren’t going to pay the same amount for a house that doesn’t have the custom features or upgrades compared to a similar sized home with all the bells and whistles.
  • Another reason is that square footage doesn’t always mean that you have that amount of actual floor space. Take for instance, a two-story Colonial =>
    traditional Colonial square footage
    Traditional 2-story Colonial

    To calculate square footage, you take the dimensions of the first floor, and double that amount for the square footage. This traditional Colonial home has about 2000 square feet, 1000 on each level.

    Now consider a contemporary 2-story house of 2000 square feet…If it has a 2-story foyer or a 2-story great room, like the picture below, it still may have the same 1000 square-foot footprint, the same square footage as the Colonial without the 2 story rooms. The two don’t completely compare.

    square footageYou might pay more for the dramatic 2-story rooms than you would for the basic home, depending on the market, even though the basic home had more actual floor space.

    This is like comparing apples to oranges.

  • A third reason why we shouldn’t rely on the square footage statistic is that it doesn’t take take location into account. Remember that overused cliche: location, location, location. The values in one neighborhood can be driven by completely different metrics than a neighborhood across town, even if the homes are similar. The age of the home, the amenities that the particular builder added and the difference in construction make a difference. The neighborhood amenities and demand also greatly affect the values.
  • The last flaw you find when relying on the square foot measurement in direct comparisons is that we often find the tax record is wrong. The tax record doesn’t always reflect any renovations done on the home after the initial sale. And sometimes, its just wrong for no reason at all…garbage in/garbage out.

Additional Reading:

Buyer Beware

Because mistakes are made, and human error is always a possibility, buyers should always make it their responsibility to check the square footage of a home they are interested in purchasing, and not rely on the owner, the agent, or even the State tax record.check the square footage

There are several apps available to serve the purpose, why not do your own quick measurements yourself?

  • Stanley Floor Plan App – It creates a floor plan from your picture. How easy is that? Android and ios
  • Add to that Stanley Smart Measure Pro App – Take a picture, then measure on the photo. Android and ios
  • There are several apps for professionals that use a laser measure in conjunction with a calculator to measure for flooring, paint, and to create floor plans for designers.

Count on Your Agent’s CMA – Comparative Market Analysis

Your listing agent or buyer’s agent will be able to do a custom CMA, by carefully studying comparable homes that have recently sold and that are currently on the market. This is the best way to determine fair market value. After that, if the home is being financed, the bank will require an appraisal, which will be the deciding factor in the value of the home.

 

An experienced agent will do a custom CMA, taking into account all of the various market factors, unique features and neighborhood nuances. No other valuation can compare for an accurate measure of what a home is worth in the present market.

Additional Reading:


 

If you’re considering selling your Frederick Md Home, contact the Highland Group regarding our High-Tech, High-Touch Listing Plan. 301-401-5119

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Selling Your Home During the Holidays

Selling Your Home During the Holidays

The Frederick real estate market generally slowes down during the holidays, as most markets do. People are busy shopping and cooking, making preparations for gatherings with family and friends. There are admittedly fewer buyers out looking for homes, and many sellers question whether it is worth the life disruption. Selling your home during the holidays certainly has some positives and negatives.

There are pros and cons to selling your home during the holidays:

  • There are fewer buyers out looking at homes during the winter months, which include the holidays…but, those buyers who are looking are serious buyers, we like to say “motivated buyers”.
  • It can be difficult to keep the house in show-ready condition during the holidays, especially for a busy family, or if you are hosting parties or celebrations. But if you are keeping a home clean and ready for guests, you have an advantage for possible showings.
  • If your home is decorated for the holidays, the decorations are an added bonus to the staging of your home, as long as your decorations aren’t over the top. This is the perfect time to experiment with minimalist Christmas decor if you are used to something more elaborate.
  • More than likely, you are already starting to pack for the inevitable move…so why not pare down and pack away some of your holiday decorations while you’re at it? Especially the highly personal items.

Additional Resource: Staging Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays, via HGTV

  • There will be fewer showings during the holidays…but…there will be fewer showings during the holidays!
  • There are fewer homes on the market…that means less competition for you. This can be a good thing when you find a buyer who needs to buy a home, and is unable to wait until the spring market. Some buyers need to make a purchase before the end of the year for tax reasons, for example. Some buyers need to be ready for a new job. You just never know.
  • Most showing systems allow you to make your home unavailable for showings during a selected time…for instance if you have holiday guests, or if you just want to have a few days to relax.
  • If you sell your home now, you may be able to be a non-contingent buyer in the spring, something to consider.

The decision whether to market your home during the holidays really does depend on selling your home during the holidaysyour tolerance for more “to-do’s” during an already hectic time. You have to weigh the inconveniences with your family’s holiday agenda, and with your desire to move on with your life.

Either way, the basic principles of selling still mean just as much as in any other time of year:  The homes that sell are priced right for their condition, and for the market.  Make sure your Realtor provides you with a periodic updated comparative market analysis (CMA) so that your home stays competitive with the market. Selling your home during the holidays doesn’t have to be a monumental task, with the right REALTOR® by your side.

Contact Chris Highland and the Highland Group for excellent real estate marketing, no matter the season. Find out what your home is worth.

Sellers: Give Your Home the Sniff Test

Sellers: Give Your Home the Sniff Test

When a Frederick home seller is getting their home ready for the market, the look of the home is not the only thing to be considered; all five of the senses need to be given thought. The most overlooked… the odors in the house. Overwhelming odors can be offputting to buyers at best, and leave a negative impression at worst.

Here are 6 places in your home to pay attention to:

1.   Closets – odors tend to build up in closets because they stay closed.
2.   Bathrooms – besides the obvious odors, mildew on surfaces and towels can be either subtle or overt.
3.   Bedrooms – dirty clothes, bed linens, and musty drapes can cause odors.
4.   Kitchens – Onions, garlic and ethnic spices can linger in the air from last night’s dinner…sometimes from last week’s dinner.
5.   Basements – Basement rooms often don’t benefit from the airflow that the main floor rooms have, and musty odors can build up.
6.   Pet smells – homeowners can get used to pet smells and forget that buyers will immediately notice the lingering smell of pets.

Solutions:

  • Natural solutions like baking soda are the best for possible sensitivities that others may have to cleaning solutions. Baking soda absorbs the odors from the air, not does your house pass the sniff test?just masking them like commercial air fresheners.
  • Before leaving for a showing, put towels and dirty clothes in the washing machine. You’ll want to set out the “good towels” anyway.
  • Use absorbant air fresheners in the closets. They will absorb the stale odors in the air. Put air fresheners inside gym shoes or any others that build up odors. Take special care when choosing the scent of air fresheners…a little goes a long way. Stay away from anything too flowery. Subtle is much better in this case.
  • Use a dehumidifier in the basement to keep the musty smell away. Place fans to circulate the air periodically.
  • Open up the windows to circulate fresh air periodically. Even if its winter, you want to be less concerned about your heating bill than you are about the welcoming smells and fresh air in your home.
  • If you’re going to clean with strong odors like bleach, clean the night before so the odors are not so strong that they “hit someone in the face” when they enter a bathroom or kitchen.
  • Place pet beds and items outside or in a garage before a showing. They should be out of sight anyway, for buyers who may have allergies or sensitivities. Have a neutralizing spray on hand to spray on furniture or carpets, or any fabric where your pet has been.
  • Above all, keep the house clean. Don’t let it build up and you won’t have a huge amount of work to do right before a showing. It can seem tedious when you have your home on the market, but it will pay off with a speedy offer.

Sometimes we get used to the odors in our living spaces and it helps to have a friend come over and give our home the sniff test…a good friend, of course, who will also give us the truth. 

Additional Resources to Cure A Smelly House:

For more seller tips, visit the seller page on our website, Selling Real Estate in Frederick Md.            Find out what your home is worth