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8 Smells That Make Home Buyers Uncomfortable (And What You Need To Do)

Smell is the most powerful sense we humans have. Although not as powerful as bears, odors are the first thing we notice when traversing unfamiliar territories. In the world of real estate, having a house that smells neutral or nice is just as important as a home that looks immaculate.

One bad odor in the air of your property can significantly influence a homebuyer's decision to make or break a deal with you. Don’t know which odors would make your home unappealing? Read on to find out what they are and what you can do about them.

1. Pet excrement

Living with pets can make you go nose blind to the scent of their doodoo, even if you dispose of them properly. And when you’re showing your home to a potential buyer, you’ll be surprised they’ll back out of the deal after a few seconds from entering.

Have someone else who doesn’t visit your home much to sniff out these odor spots. Then use special sprays with enzymes that break down odor molecules to remove stenches. If this method doesn’t work, replace the stinky area altogether.

2. Last night’s dinner

Real estate agents would advise you to not cook fish as your home is listed. Even if you won’t cook fish, set the range hood fan on high every time you’re using cookware. You can also fill a shallow bowl with coffee grounds and white vinegar and leave it in the kitchen to absorb the lingering odors of your last cooking session.

3. Whatever’s in your kitchen sink

A lot of waste materials can stick to the inner lining of your sink’s drain pipe. And over time, they can produce a nasty smell that can cause a touring buyer to vomit in revolt. There are a lot of ways to clean your sink pipe without hiring a plumber. You can pour a bottle of drain declogger or use the baking soda-vinegar-boiling water with salt formula.

4. Lingering garbage

Even if you empty your garbage bin on a regular basis, pungent odors can still stay, especially if the garbage bag has holes at the bottom and there are organic wastes inside. Always segregate your wastes. When the sanitation truck comes, spend a little of your time cleaning your trash cans and bins. We all hate getting splashed with “garbage juice”, let alone having to smell it.

5. Paint

Of course, you’ll probably paint your home in neutral colors before listing it for sale. As a result, the entire interior could smell like a chemical factory. You can slice onions and put them on the corners of your home. Others say charcoal is also effective. But my favorite would be using odorless paint and paint thinner.

6. Bleach

Don’t overdo the cleaning of your bathroom and kitchen countertops. The scent of bleach doesn’t necessarily discourage buyers but it can cause them to cover their mouths, noses, and have watery eyes during a tour. Remember, you want to make a buyer feel like your house can be their future home, not a hospital.

7. Kid funk

If you have kids, you know that you’re bound to find a lot of objects in places where they shouldn’t be. For example, an old strip of french fry stuck between your sofa’s cushion. There is no easy fix for this. But you can prevent a lot of work when the time comes to list your home for sale through regular cleaning. Don’t have the time? Hire a housekeeper or maid then.

8. Too many good scents

Good indoor fragrances can influence buyers to make a deal with you. But like the smell of bleach, too much can also be a bad thing. Heavy odors in the air such as diffusers, air fresheners, and candles mixing together can create a nauseating effect. And if I were to be the buyer? I would be highly suspicious of you desperately trying to hide something through fragrances.

Your greatest enemy of keeping your home smelling nice for visitors and touring buyers is neglect. Inspect your home, sniff out, and clean areas that have nasty smells regularly. Train your pets to relieve themselves in the right places. And the two most important things of all, limit your use of scents and indulge in your stench-causing vices outside.

Read these articles to know more about the things you should do before selling your home: