You’ve just left the house for the fifteenth time…gathered up the kids, threw the dog in the cage.
As you back out of the driveway, you mentally run through the house one more time to make sure everything is in order.
Toilet seat down…check
This time…hopefully…will be THE time.
This Buyer is going to fall in LOVE and you’ll get the call from your Agent with the sweetest words ever…
“I have an offer for you!”
But there it is, in your emailed feedback, the words you’ve seen before
Nice home…but my Buyers are going to keep looking.
That dreaded “but”.
There’s something these Buyers aren’t telling you. Not wanting to insult or offend, they just move on.
Sometimes, they don’t even consciously know what is off, they know it just didn’t “feel right.”
As they tour your home, they often will voice their impressions to their Agents…
They start talking behind your back!
Whats That Smell?
Have you ever come home and been greeted by an “off” smell as you opened the door? Making a mental note to take out the trash, you get sidetracked by a phone call or one of the kids pulling at your sleeve, holding up today’s art masterpiece for your approval.
By the time you grab a cup of coffee and sit down to relax, you no longer notice the smell rising from the trash…
You’ve developed “nose blindness”…
There are everyday home odors that you’ve become accustom to and never really notice,
But home shoppers do…and it’s one of the first things they mention.
The major offenders?
#1…Tobacco Smoke Home Odors – Tobacco smoke is a major offender, especially to people who have health problems or are allergic to the smell. No matter how much air freshner you use, or how deeply you clean, there is a penetrating “stale ashtray” smell. For many buyers, if they detect tobacco smoke, they will simply say
“A smoker lives here…I could never get out the smell”
…then turn around and walk out.
If you smoke, it’s almost impossible to rid your home of this smell yourself. Cleaning the carpet and painting the walls may help for a while, but a sensitive nose will pick right up on it as it eventually seeps through. You’ll most likely need professional help. Professionals will often use an Ozone Generator to actually change the air molecules to neutralize the offending odor.
#2…Pet Home Odors
“They must have a dog (or cat, or hampster)”.
As much as our fur-babies are part of the family, more often than not, the odor most of them contribute is not welcome for many Buyers. It gets into the carpet, the furniture and drapes and is one of those odors that just can’t be completely removed or covered up.
In extreme cases, it can trigger an allergic reaction and send the would-be purchaser back out the front door gasping for breath. Less life-threatening, but just as poisonous to a home sale is the site of a littler box left in the open…even if it is perfectly clean. Cat lovers are a possible exception, but even they prefer the sight of their own cat’s litter box to yours.
If you are dealing with pet urine odors, it may be impossible to remove without pulling up the carpet and padding.
#3…Food Home Odors – Hey…we all eat. And preparing the food we eat is a necessary and daily practice. But when a Buyer enters you home and the first thing they say is
“I can tell what THEY had for dinner last night”
(if they say that with a wrinkled nose, it’s NOT a good thing), there’s a problem with your odor prevention/removal system somewhere. Not everyone likes fish, broccoli or curry even though it may be your favorite food.
To minimize cooking and food preparation home odors:
- Take out the trash daily and you’ll remove a large portion of odor-causing materials.
- Run a lemon through you garbage disposal when prepping for a showing. It will leave an often overlooked source of odors clean and fresh smelling.
- Keep the charcoal filter on you range or micro-hood changed to give it the best opportunity to remove cooking smells.
- Place an opened box of baking soda in the refrigerator to absorb odors, removing any leftovers before they have a chance to announce themselves.
Don’t make the mistake of using too many candles, air-fresheners or plug-ins. They are usually highly perfumed, don’t eliminate odors, only overpower them and leave Buyers wondering what you’re trying to hide.
Ideally, there should be no outstanding odors, and certainly nothing negative. Nothing beats fresh air and sunshine to leave your home odor free and inviting. If the weather allows, throw the doors and windows open before a showing and let the pure, fresh smell of the outdoors in.
I’m not saying every time a potential Buyer says “I’ll pass”, it means your home has an odor problem.
But wouldn’t you like to make sure that’s not the issue?
When we walk through your home, you’ll get the straight truth.
We’ll let you know if there are any odor problems that need to be addressed. It’s just part of what we do to help make sure you have a successful sale.