Does the Home Smell Like A Bad Deal?

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Getting your house ready to put on the market might mean making some renovations, but even if you have the minimal amount to invest to make your place appealing to buyers, don’t forget to appeal to the most basic requirements that perspective buyers have. Potential buyers expect your home to smell clean. When you live in your home day after day, you may become immune to odors. Furthermore, those visiting your home for the first time may react so negatively that they cross your home off the list of potential properties.

Common Smelly Turn Offs

Positive, pleasant smells are so important to creating a favorable impression that real estate agents often suggest that you bake bread or chocolate chip cookies or have potpourri simmering on the stove during an open house. Many smells recreate present childhood memories, whereas others are guaranteed to turn off visitors. These include:

  • Pet Odors. Dogs, cats, and other household pets may have occasional accidents in the house or may require a litter box where they do their business. Pet urine can leave a residual smell in carpets and furnishings even after you clean it up. In addition, if your home smells of pet urine, you may be able to neutralize the smell with a pet enzyme removal product such as Resolve or with baking soda in the cat box. If this doesn’t work, pulling up the carpet or removing the furniture may be the only way to get rid of the smell.

  • Rotten food. Prior to a showing of your house, you will undoubtedly empty trash containers, but your range, refrigerator, or garbage disposal can hold odors too. To make sure everything is clean, run your garbage disposal with ice cubes, salt, and lemon peels, and wipe other appliances down inside and out with white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and a micro fiber cloth.


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  • Smelly carpets. Even if you have no pets, your carpets can smell of food and sweat. Make sure to have your carpets professionally cleaned before you start to show your home. Keep the carpets fresh with a home steam cleaning or even a spray of vodka misted over the carpet. This liquor known for not being obvious on the breathe leaves no smells when dry.

  • Stale AC smells. Stale water that collects in a dehumidifier or air-conditioning unit can foster the growth of mold and mildew that will send odors through the room when the unit is running. Smoke fumes can also collect in the condenser coil and be released as well. In addition, clean the coils, replace filters, and drain the water frequently to keep the room free of odors.

  • Dampness in the house can create a musty smell that makes even a new home seem old. Make sure to have your home inspected for water accumulation in the basement or in the roof rafters.

Kill Odors, Not Sales

Unappealing odors are a turnoff to potential buyers. If you have a limited budget for getting your house ready to sell, consider investing a couple hundred dollars in basic professional cleaning services that will leave your property smelly fresh, clean, and inviting.

Ready to sell? Give me a call for additional tips on making your home appealing to buyers.

Call Me For Real Estate Success

When you are buying or selling a home, don’t waste time. Give me a call for experience, market knowledge, correct pricing, and a sincere interest in helping you fulfill your real estate goals. If you are ready to sell your home for maximum value, the best place to start is by clicking here and scheduling an appointment.

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Roy Thomas SRES® (Senior’s Real Estate Specialist) is a REALTOR® with Sutton Group Professional Realty. Since 1991, Roy specializes in helping retirees with their later in life real estate transactions. Call Roy at 902-497-3031 or contact Roy here

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