September 1, 2017

You only get one chance to make a first impression. As soon as buyers enter your home they will encounter its odor. Here are the top 5 odors that will instantly send buyers packing:

Food – Certain foods can linger in the air long after you’ve enjoyed your dinner. Fish, bacon and fried foods are common culprits. Make sure you ventilate well when cooking or better yet avoid cooking stinky foods while your home is on market, or cook on the grill as much as possible.

Mold –  Mold and mildew odors can be particularly scary for home buyers. Find out the source of any moisture entering the home and remedy the issue. Anything that has mildewed should be disposed of and the area cleaned and ventilated.

Body Odor – Sheets that have not been recently washed, dirty sneakers, wet towels and the like can leave your home smelling like a high school locker room. Wash all linens before going on market and rewash frequently. Remove stinky shoes from the home. Don’t let the laundry pile up.

Pets  – Many pet owners have become accustomed to their pet smells and fail to realize their presence in their home. If you have dogs or cats, you need to be extremely diligent in keeping the home clean and the pets groomed – or ideally board the pets while your home is on market. Litter boxes need to be cleaned daily. The worst smell of all: CAT URINE. If the cat has had accidents on furniture or carpets – the only sure remedy is to have the items replaced. Sometimes it may even be necessary to replace or seal sub-flooring to completely remove the odor of cat urine from flooring.

Cigarette Smoke – Cigarette smoke can be one of the hardest odors to remove from your home as it permeates every possible surface. Eradicating the smell can mean sealer, new paint, new carpet and maybe even new furniture. If you smoke in the house – buyers will be able to tell – PERIOD. There is no way to disguise the smell. Your best bet is to never smoke in the house, or be prepared for serious remediation when it’s time to sell.

Sometimes we get so used to the odors of our own homes we can’t even smell them ourselves. Ask a trusted friend or relative to come by and be honest with you about the odor of your home. Remedying any odor issues before going on market – even if it involves repainting and re-flooring, will almost always cost less than adjusting your home sales price to accommodate the funk.

Last Updated on March 26, 2019 by Minna Reid

About the author 

Minna Reid

Minna Reid is The Broker - Owner of Reid Real Estate Group. Reid Real Estate Group is a full-service Connecticut residential real estate brokerage, specializing in helping homeowners with legal and financial challenges including short sales, probate sales and tax lien complications.

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