When a home seller is getting their home ready for the market, the look of the home is not the only thing to be considered; homeowners need to consider all five of the senses. The most overlooked… the odors in the house. Overwhelming odors can be offputting to buyers at best, and leave a negative impression, at worst. Does your house pass the sniff-test?
Here are 7 places in your home that usually need attention:
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 strong 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.
7. Trash – Probably the worst culprit.
- 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 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 absorbent 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.
- Take the trash out before a showing. It’s a good idea to remove all trash cans.
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. When preparing your home for sale, remember all the ways to improve your home’s appeal, including all the senses.
Additional Resources to Cure A Smelly House:
- How to Get the Moldy Smell Out of Towels
- How to Speed Clean Your House in Less Than 30 Minutes
- Smell Hacks: How to Make Stuff Smell Better
- 10 Ways to Keep Your Home from Smelling like A Kennel
For more seller tips, visit: Selling Real Estate in Frederick Md.
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