You have painted, planted, removed clutter and done all of the things you are supposed to do to make your house appealing. Even with all your hard work, you may be missing an important factor in staging your home for a quick sale at your asking price. In this competitive market, you have to do a lot more than get the buyer in the front door and present an attractive home.
The first thing borrowers notice when they enter the home has nothing to do with what they can see. It is how the home smells that makes the first impression. Jeanette Fisher at HomeStaging.us says, “I love stinky houses! Whenever I preview a stinky house, I know other home shoppers will be turned off by the odors. This opens the possibility for investors like my family to pick up a bargain house.”
Even in a clean home, there may still be smells that may make the buyer think again. Odors can accumulate unnoticed over time. You certainly do not want your house seen as a bargain for a home investor, you want top price. For this reason, you need to take a close look (or smell) at your home.
Some of the worst culprits that can linger in your home are:
- SmokeCigarette smokers cannot smell the scent of smoke the way a non-smoker can. Even if you tend to smoke outside, the scent can stick to clothes and hair and permeate the fabrics and carpet in your home.
- Pets:We love our pets but despite our best efforts to clean up after them, scents may linger. Dogs pick up all kinds of smells from outside in their coat and bring those into the house where they settle into the carpet and upholstery. Litter box smells can also be absorbed into the carpet.
- Cooking odors:If you cook with spices, if you fry foods, or if you cook fish and other food items with a strong smell, the scents will linger long after the meal. Your home will take on a distinctive smell that you may not notice, but a buyer will.
You can vacuum, you can clean, and you can scrub, but these odors will still linger. You will need to attack these odors head on. Here are some ideas.
- To test your home for smoke and pet odors, have someone who is a non-smoker or non-pet owner walk through the home and tell you what they smell.
- Air your home out by opening windows and doors regularly.
- Have your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned.
Even when you are not preparing your home for sale, you should have your carpets cleaned regularly. Regular carpet cleaning improves air quality in your home by removing allergens that can get into the air. Regular carpet cleaning prolongs the life of the carpet by removing dirt that can cause traffic patterns and premature wear. This alone will lessen the chance that you will have to replace carpet when it comes time to sell.
In addition to a regular carpet-cleaning schedule, you should have your carpets cleaned professionally when you list it for sale, and re-cleaned every six weeks until it sells. You want to keep it spotless and fresh smelling at all times.
According to ForSalebyOwner.com, “do not forget to ensure that your home smells nice when your potential buyers enter.” The Lowe’s website also says, “Keeping an extra clean house is the key to a timely sell. Buyers are looking for a home that is clean and well maintained. They will certainly notice the condition of your floors and carpeting.”