Does The Listing Pass The Sniff Test

Dated: 03/11/2014

Views: 1289

All homes have a smell.  If it’s pleasing, it will be to the seller’s advantage. I once asked a friend what prompted her to buy her current home. “It smelled like home,” was her reply. The reverse is also true.  If the home’s smell is offensive, potential buyers will walk away. 

Since a seller is accustomed to the smell of their home, it is best to have an objective third party take the “sniff test.”  If the home fails the test, there are remedies.
 

The easiest and best way to make the home smell fresher is to let in fresh air. Ventilate the home by opening windows and doors on opposite ends of the house. Carpets and curtains should be professionally cleaned. Professional carpet cleaners now have odor removing or reducing products used in connection with their cleaning process. 
Next, determine what exactly is causing the odor and correct it. One very offensive odor is the odor caused by pet accidents. There is an easy, inexpensive home made remedy for this problem. 
In order to correct the problem, we first need to know exactly where the problem areas are. For this, it is best to purchase a hand held black light which, in a darkened room, will reveal where pet urine and other stains are located. Hand held black lights can be purchased for approximately $25.00 and are worth every penny. 
Once the stains have been located, wet the area thoroughly with a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water. The acidity in the vinegar will neutralize the ammonia in pet urine. When the area is dry, apply a liberal amount of baking soda over the affected area and drizzle a quarter cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide and a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent. 
Work this in to the carpet with a scrubbing brush or your fingers to dissolve the baking soda and work it down into the carpet. Allow the area to dry, then use a vacuum to fluff up the carpet. This process may be repeated several times for heavily soiled areas. 
The odor from cigarette smoking can be especially offensive to prospective buyers. Of course, the best way to eliminate this smell is to have the home professionally cleaned, including carpets and drapes, and discontinue smoking in the house. 
Another helpful tip is to use vinegar in small bowls hidden around the house. Vinegar is a natural odor neutralized. I have also found the use of Lysol Neutra Air to be helpful. This product has less of a chemical smell and leaves the area smelling clean and fresh. 
With the use of these helpful tips, the listing should pass the “sniff test.”
Written by Amie  H Chaney  on 07/2008
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Gavin McCaleb

Gavin has lived in Boise for over 20 years. In 2003 he got his start in real estate as an investor and since then he has personally bought and sold over 100 houses. He got licensed in 2009 and is now....

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