Common home odors to address before showing your home

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Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance in Loveland

Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance in Loveland

We know this is an uncomfortable topic to cover, but it’s nevertheless an important one. If you’re planning to sell your home this spring, it’s important to be aware of certain home odors that can be a huge issue for potential buyers. Addressing these can improve your chances for a quick sale and at maximum value.

Pet odors
Pet lovers don’t mind and may not even notice pet smells. However, non-pet owners may notice it right away. Some may even be allergic to pet dander. To minimize this issue, be sure to dust and vacuum thoroughly before that big open house. Empty kitty litter boxes and other common pet odor sources. If you have a room where your pet normally stays, it may be a good idea to air it out before showings. Lastly, it’s always best to remove your pets during showings. This minimizes odors and the added distraction.

Shoe smells
Every home has a certain shoe storage area. If you store your shoes inside a closet or other confined space, odors can build up. Consider purchasing products that help capture and neutralize strong smells. Avoid solutions such as sprays since they can be a bit overwhelming, especially in small spaces.

Bathroom odors
Showing requests can sometimes come on short notice. As you rush to get dressed and leave the house, you may overlook the condition of your bathroom. After a hot shower, your bathroom may smell damp. We need not mention the other “activity” that could leave unwanted bathroom odors. Given that kitchens and baths are the most important rooms to buyers, be sure to properly ventilate the bathroom before any showings.

Musty basements
Basements are another common source of odor problems. What does your basement smell like? And how may that impact a buyer’s perception of the condition of your property? A musty basement will make buyers wonder if there is a mold issue. A chemical smell will cause them to wonder whether there’s some sort of leak. Give your basement a good sniff and consider ways to address any obvious odors. For example, a dehumidifier can help with dampness.

Air fresheners
The last common source of offensive household odors is air fresheners. Yes, these are normally meant to address odors, but sometimes they can be a bit overwhelming to potential buyers (particularly the automatic spray types). Furthermore, using too many air fresheners may give the impression that you are trying to hide an offensive smell. Instead of spraying artificial products, consider adding natural pleasant smells. For example, you can do this by baking cookies or creating a bouquet of fresh cut flowers from your garden.

Eliminating offensive odors in your home will make the showing experience more pleasant for potential home buyers, allow them to focus on the property’s features, and avoid negative impressions and assumptions.

Suzanne Plewes is a broker associate at RE/MAX Alliance. Write to 750 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland, CO 80537, call 970.290.0373 or e-mail suzanneplewes@remax.net.

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