We all know the importance of staging our homes so they look presentable when listing. But equally important is how your home smells.
When my husband & I viewed our home for the first time, the previous sellers had just baked a fresh loaf of bread and left it to cool on the kitchen counter. The aroma wafted through the entire house; it was ‘scent-sational’. All I could picture was me in an apron in that cute kitchen baking a loaf of bread (not that it’s ever happened). The pleasant aroma only added to the long list of reasons why I absolutely had to have that house.
But not all houses smell this good (or tasty). Unpleasant odors can really turn off a buyer and overshadow the attributes a home offers.
Our sense of smell can trigger passed memories whether they’re good memories or bad. Have you ever smelled something and immediately it triggered a memory? The smell of someone’s perfume or cologne may remind you of someone else you know who wears the same cologne. Or the scent of a flower can remind you of someone who grew the same flower in her garden. Smell is connected to our memories and potential buyers will remember an unpleasant odor when they think back to a house they viewed.
There are countless ways to mask odors. If you’re selling and don’t have time to whip up a fresh loaf of bread, room sprays are very convenient. But the commercial sprays are loaded with chemicals. I really don’t know what’s worse; breathing in an unpleasant odor or breathing in toxic chemicals that are bad for my health.
I found two recipes for homemade, non-toxic odor eliminator sprays on www.keeperofthehome.org. Made with simple ingredients, this is a great way to inexpensively keep your home smelling fresh and clean.
Here are a few other tips to avoid unpleasant odors while your home is listed:
- Be aware of what you’re cooking. Many foods carry a strong odor days after you’ve cooked it; onions, fish, garlic, etc.
- Get carpets cleaned prior to listing
- Clean all drapery. It’s surprising how odors can stick to fabrics
- Regularly open windows and let the fresh air blow through. I know it’s hard to do with the chilly Calgary winters. Even just ten minutes will freshen things up.
- Give walls and vinyl/tile or hardwood flooring a good scrubbing
- Use air purifiers
- Make sure litter boxes are cleaned regularly and store them in a well ventilated area
- Clean up any other pet stains on rugs or carpets. See the link here for a great Homemade Carpet Stain Remover recipe.
- Vacuum up any pet hair that may be adding to pet odor
- Do not smoke inside your home...period!
**Did you know: Dogs have 1 million smell cells per nostril and their smell cells are 100 times larger than humans. **
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Meagen Mackenzie is a REALTOR® and Accredited Staging Professional with RE/MAX iREALTY INNOVATIONS.