The Scent Of A Successful House Sale
Imagine you’re viewing a property. The pictures of the home you’re about to view look really promising, the property is in a great location you’d be only too happy to move to and the property has all the features you were hoping for on your wish list. However upon entering the property for the first viewing, you notice immediately that there’s a rather nasty smell permeating the property. It’s not a great start…
So, if you’re the one selling a property, what can you do to make sure that your home is smelling fresh and avoid bad odours killing the sale of your home?
PetsOur furry companions are a great place to start when it comes to discussing common and unpleasant odours within a home, however note that many of the tips to follow can (and should!) be adopted when it comes to trying to remove any nasty smell from your home, whether it be cigarette smoke or smells leftover from cooking.
The reality for many of us is that we share our homes with pets. Whilst in itself no problem, pet odours which slowly begin to infiltrate every room in the house are. For those of us living permanently with our four legged friends, we are fortunate that our sense of smell is adaptable. Offensive odours eventually become less of an issue as our sense of smell becomes less sensitive to the bad smell - in simple terms, we get used to them.
Whilst this can be a great asset to have in many aspects of life, it can become slightly problematic when it comes to trying to sell the home you’ve always shared with your pets. Whilst you might be used to the smell in your home and find it non-offensive and not even notice it, potential buyers visiting your home for the first time will immediately pick up on any bad smells in your home, and unfortunately pet odours in particular can really help to kill a sale.
So, what can you do?
Let the fresh air in!
This won’t solve the problem of odours in your home permanently, but it’s a nod in the right direction and a good place to start. Open windows and doors and ventilate your home, even if you’re trying to sell in the colder months. It can be tough if it’s especially chilly out, so if needs be, open up the windows in one room and then close the door to that room so that it's cut off from the rest of your home. Concentrate on the rooms where your pet spends the most time or where there is a particularly unpleasant smell of any kind, and let lots of fresh air flow through. By closing the door, the rest of your home will remain nice and toasty so you needn’t be uncomfortably cold as the ventilating process is underway!
Wash what you can
Give the floors in your home a really good and thorough clean. This isn’t too much trouble when it comes to washing wooden and tile floors, but it can be more problematic when it comes to giving the carpets in your home a really good clean. It’s up to you whether you take this on yourself, however you might find that if you’re trying to get rid of nasty odours, hiring in a professional may prove particularly helpful. Alternatively, if you’ve got the budget and feel your carpets are beyond saving due to bad pet smells and stains, replace them. It might seem extravagant when you’re looking to move, but it can really help to cut out a big source of the bad odours in your home.
Don’t neglect to give all the fabrics in your home a good wash too if they can withstand it - think curtains, pillow covers, bedding, sheets, blankets and anything else that can be given a turn through the washing machine. If you have bulkier items to wash such as duvets, look into taking them to the dry cleaners - it's unlikely they will fit in your washing machine at home. This will really help to get rid of any unpleasant smells in your home - pet or otherwise. If your pet has its own bed, don’t neglect to wash this too and any bedding you provide for them.
You might also want to consider giving your pet a bath. Again, you can choose whether this is something you want to do yourself or whether you would prefer to take them to a groomers for a good shampoo instead. After all, it's no good doing a big clean in the days before the viewings only for a stinky pet to still be on the loose - especially if they're partial to climbing up onto the furniture!
And replace what you can...
It might be that some items in your home are beyond saving and smell bad no matter what you do to them. If this is the case, get rid of them and replace them, or just get rid of them completely if you don’t feel as though it’s anything that needs replacing urgently.
More tips and tricks to help a home smell its best!
Beyond giving your home and the things in it a really good clean and tidy, there are other little things you can do to help a home smell its best.
Here are some ideas!
Most people appreciate fresh flowers. Not only do they look pretty, they also smell rather lovely too and will help to give the impression that you take pride in your home. If you’ve got viewings coming up, try to pick up a fresh bouquet a few days prior to the viewing.
A top tip? Leave the flowers in one room with the door closed. This way the scent in the room will remain undisturbed and as viewers enter the room they will really get to smell the flowers in all their glory!
You can always try the classic trick of either baking or brewing a fresh batch of coffee before viewers arrive - you’ll find that it’s a recommended tip time and time again when it comes to lists of things you can do to help the sale of your home. You’ll need time if you’re baking before a viewing, so make sure you’ve got all other essential jobs such as the tidying and cleaning in your home done and out of the way - these are ultimately more important than the smell of cake on arrival!
Take the bins out
An obvious one, but essential. Before a viewing, make sure you’ve emptied any bins in the home and given them a good wash out with hot, soapy water. Concentrate on the kitchen bin in particular - any food debris left at the bottom will leave a very nasty smell once it starts to rot. You might also want to give outside bins a good wash if viewers will be walking past them to enter the property. If you don’t fancy doing this yourself, you can always pay for the job doing.
Candles and air fresheners
Scented candles and plug in air fresheners are also both easy ways to create a pleasant aroma throughout your home. Whilst you might not want to have candles burning as a viewing takes place, lighting candles beforehand and blowing them out shortly before potential buyers come to view your home will leave a pleasant smell behind in the rooms where the candle has been burning.
Whilst you want your home to smell pleasant, very strong smells can be overpowering. Just like a bad smell can be off putting, so can very strong, heavy and sickly fragrances, so try to avoid using scents in your home that have a really powerful scent. Strong scents may also cause some of your viewers to question whether you’re trying to mask a more sinister smell, so keep the scents light so nobody leaves suspicious!
It's important to note however that neither candles, air fresheners, baking cakes, brewing coffee or placing flowers strategically around your home are designed to get rid of any longstanding and nasty smells. It's important therefore that you don’t rely on them if you know there are underlying issues that are causing unpleasant smells to be a problem in your home.
Which brings us onto...
A persistent nasty smell?
If there’s a longstanding problem behind the smell that you know exists in your home, such as a blocked drain or mould in a basement causing the rest of the home to have a musty smell, don’t mask it - try to fix it instead, even if it means hiring in professionals to do the job for you. It’s well worth it in the long run - not only will potential buyers be put off by a nasty smell following them around the home during the viewing, most will feel a bit uneasy about the prospect of buying a home and having to immediately fork out to fix a problem that’s causing the home to smell a bit off.