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Smell Before You Sell

If you are getting ready to sell your home, you need to make sure it passes the sniff test. Strong odors in a home can be a major deterrent for prospective buyers and it is not always easy to identify the familiar smells that are problematic. People get used to the odor of their house and may not even notice that it is unpleasant to others. Since there is no odor meter, you need to identify and address common smelly offenders and then enlist the help of an outside sniffer to make sure your house sells without smells.

Common Offenders

Cat Urine – This is probably one of the worst pet odor smells and it is offensive to just about everyone that smells it. Cat urine can exist on walls and flooring and is verify difficult to get rid of with household cleaners. Professional services or possibly replacing carpet and building materials may be required to rid your house of the smell.

Dog Odors/Cat Litter – If you are a pet owner, these smells may not be as offensive to you, but they can be unpleasant to someone who is pet free. Because some of these odors make their way into the carpet fibers and padding, even a professional cleaning might not resolve the issue. It might be necessary to remove and replace the carpet and padding to rid your house of the smell. To address litter box smells, make sure they are clean and put out of sight during showings.

Cigarette smoke – You can bet most prospective buyers will not care for this smell. Cigarette smoke clings to furnishings, curtains and can even work its way inside walls. Because topically applied solutions will only reduce the stench, this odor can be costly to eliminate. To remove smoke smells, a full cleaning of the house and air is necessary. If you cannot eradicate the smell before you list, be prepared to offer a credit or lower the price in return.

Cooking Odors – Although preparing food in your home is necessary, you will want to plan out what you cook and when during the selling process. Deep fryers, garlic and fish are just a few items with pungent smells that linger for hours, sometimes days after. Plan on eating out before showings or open houses to make sure your home is clear of strong cooking odors.

People Smells – Yes, we all smell but a pile of dirty clothes, an unflushed toilet, diapers or dirty bathrooms are just a few things that can leave a bad smell impression with prospective buyers. Make sure to give your home a deep clean and keep it clean to avoid any issues with people smells.

Air Fresheners/Incense – The smell of lavender or mango magic might be relaxing and smell great to you, but know not every nose likes the same thing. The heavy perfume can be nauseating to buyers and screams loudly that something is being covered up.

Mold and Mildew – A musty basement can imply unwanted moisture which is a red flag for potential homebuyers. Make sure you circulate the air and give your home a thorough cleaning to address this smell. If it goes unchanged, a dehumidifier might be necessary to minimize this odor.

Rotting Food – Some prospective buyers can and will open your refrigerator while walking through your home. Old food in your fridge smacks them right in the smeller the moment the doors open. Make sure to clear it out and clean it out to avoid this smelly encounter.

Sniff Test

The best way to find out if your house smells is to have someone that doesn’t live there give an honest opinion. One of your best resources could be your real estate agent that can give you honest and helpful feedback. Friends or relatives can also help to point out sources of odor. Although the truth can be hard to hear, just remember their opinions are offered to help you sell your home and aren’t aimed to offend you.

Once you have addressed any odors in your home, you want to introduce positive smells before a showing. Fresh-baked bread, cookies or a fresh load of laundry all leave a pleasant aroma.

If you getting ready to sell your home you should have an agent that is willing to help you with all aspects. Yes, that even means a smell consultation. Contact a COListings agent who can provide a comprehensive listing package that includes a full home cleaning to help you rid your home of smells before you sell. is a Colorado Real Estate Search Engine and home of the best Colorado Realtors® in the state. If you are ready to buy or sell a home in Colorado then you are in the right place.

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