I Can't Sell What I Smell

The Nose KnowsWorking with a potential home buyer recently we saw several homes.  While most were very nice the buyer had in many of the homes complained about the smell.  So today I want to share some "bad smells" and offer ideas for showing a home without smells:

1) Carpets: Have the carpets professionally cleaned with odor remover in the cleaning process.  A more expensive fix is to completely take out all of the current carpet and padding; scrub the floor so nothing "comes through"; and put in new padding and carpet.

2) Smoke: Yes you have the right to smoke, yet several people do not and they do not like the smell in their new home.  Smoke outside so no smoke smell gets in the house. Scrub walls, floors, and ceilings - or freshly paint - every room in the house, including the basement.

3) Garbage: REMOVE your garbage before showings especially if you have any chicken or fish bones or skins.  Run some white vinegar through the garbage disposal so it smells better.

4) Moisture in the basement: Yes it smells!  Use a dehumdifier, dry up the basement as best you can.  If you don't have a very wet basement, do not leave a big fan going 24/7 to avoid moisture - it causes the problem to look bigger than it truly is.

5) Mold and Mildew smells: Clean it up and get it abated (removed) appropriately. 

4) Cooking Dinner: Try to simply warm something up in the microwave when you know you have a showing.  That dinner that you think smells wonderful - may not smell so wonderful to the buyer - or you could make them so hungry they are not even looking at the house.

5) Incense Burning: Just say NO to this and any other room air fresheners you may want to use to give a pleasant smell to the house.  Some people are allergic to these "perfumes" or they can be offensive to the potential buyer.

6) Candle Burning: Please do this in the privacy of your presence.  While it may look good and you may enjoy it, it is in fact a fire hazard in addition to possibly having an odor that the buyer does not like.

7) Good smells?: Fresh air is always the best, yet there are times when that is not possible so a LIGHT air freshener and only 1 scent run through the house an hour before a showing is ok.  Bake a loaf of bread, a pie, or a batch of cookies - still the best smell to sell a house with - you don't have to make any of these items from scratch as there are plenty of frozen, pre-packaged items available.

Don't be the unlucky home seller who lost out on a sale because there were so many air fresheners automatically going off all the time the buyer was certain there was a cat smell in the house.

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Sherri L. Underthun
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