Does your home smell? No, really. Does your home stink?
It's a valid question, especially if you're preparing to put your home on the market this Spring. It's a proven scientific fact that we familiarize ourselves with the odors and scent of our home, so much so that we "stop smelling it" and the topic of whether your home does indeed stink becomes a bit awkward.
Whether it's an odor emanating from the kitchen because your family adores stir-fried onions and asparagus, or your four-leggeds have staked an interest in how your home smells, the fact is, homes with pleasant smells sell faster and at a higher price.
Cigarette smoke is one of THE quickest turnoffs for buyers, as is the assumed presence of mold-like substances due to a damp basement. Bathrooms that could stand a deep clean can also be the source of unimpressed buyers. And old musty carpet or carpet that has been targeted by an animal can also give off a bad smell to people walking into your home for the first time.
What are some ways to beat the stink?
Do not use plugin air fresheners. The first thing I think to myself when I see them when touring a home with a buyer, is that they are trying to hide something. Instead opt for an essential oil diffuser. My favorite scents are lavender, eucalyptus, or cinnamon.
Carpet Fresheners and Candles.
Do not use carpet fresheners or burn candles during showings. Not only are the candles possibly dangerous or risky if they are accidentally spilled, but they only mask the odors, not treat them.
Natural Air Fresheners.
Run a dehumidifier in your basement if it smells musty. You can also add a few drops of tea-tree oil and rubbing alcohol to help clear the air.
In the bathroom, consider again using essential oils. Drop a few drops in the INSIDE of the toiler paper roll. The oil will absorb into the cardboard and slowly release the scent into the air. Not that prospective buyers should be using your bathrooms, but when you or other residents in the home pull toilet paper squares from the roll, it will also release a very pleasant smell into the air!
Fruit Tips and Cooking Tricks.
Lemon peels in the garbage disposal, as well as in the trashcan (between the bottom of the trash can and the bag) do well to mask kitchen odors.
Go easy on the garlic and onions during the time your house is on the market. Oh, and avoid fish!
Purge your fridge of all leftovers, produce that may be past its due date and anything that would cause a buyer to wrinkle their noses. It's very likely your pantry, fridge and drawers will be opened during showings.
Bake! Yes, baking right before a showing sends warm visions of holiday meals and family time around the kitchen table to those prospective buyers. You can leave the baked goods out or take them with you when you have to leave your home for showings.
Animals and Kids.
ALWAYS keep fresh cat litter in those boxes and tuck them away before showings. If you have dogs, consider purchasing a Furminator to help keep the shedding at bay, which can lodge in your carpets, causing unneeded additional odors.
If you have teenagers, encourage them to do more regular laundry instead of leaving their wet towels and other clothing items in a heap on their bathroom floor.
It's never too early to begin working on the smell in your house, and soon you can confidently answer "No!" when someone asks "Does your home smell?"