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Home Odors Make a Big Impact on Buyer Offers

Avoiding Home Odors During Open Houses

I am sitting here writing my second review on a home I recently showed in Whitefish Bay. This is the second of two separate showing reports (to provide feedback to the Seller) state in BOLD print “Please STOP using Glade Plug-Ins as an air freshener.” Two different Buyers on two different occasions, abruptly left the home and did not make it to the second floor. The smell was so overpowering both Buyers felt sick. The negative impact of this on a home can mean thousands of dollars in lost equity.

A home’s smell is its signature and sometimes, can be even more impactful than staging. Buyers not only notice, they talk about the smell of your home from the moment they open the door to the time they leave.

Smell is one of those things often left undiscussed in preparing a home for sale, but it should be carefully planned. Sellers often don’t notice the smells in their own homes because they’ve grown so used to them. When I am showing properties, smell is one of the first things and last things the Buyers and I review. Moldy basement smell, caustic attics, cooking smells, and diapers are some of the biggest turn-offs for Buyers. It is very important that your home smell fresh and clean when you are selling. It’s one of the first things and last things I review with my Sellers, as well.

Here are some of my favorite scent suggestions for my Sellers:

1. Start with a deep clean throughout the entire home.

2. Keep it simple and avoid artificial fragrance at all costs.

3. Immediately before you show your home, put a load of clothes in the dryer and start it so the home smells like fresh laundry…this is the best. It reminds people of “home” and brings back favorable childhood memories which create a positive feeling about your home.

4. Use dryer sheets in the drawers -- not perfumed scents

5. Candles can be nice but their fragrance can be overpowering so proceed with caution. And if you go this route, be sure to extinguish the flame before you leave the house. Instead, grind a fresh lemon in your sink disposal and set out a fresh pitcher of ice water with lemon in your kitchen along with chilled glasses for prospective Buyers. Do not cook Indian food, fish or other heavily fragrant foods the night before or the day of a showing in your home.

6. Do not use carpet freshener in your home. This is too overpowering and will not have the desired result. Instead, use Pledge on the family room and living room woodwork before you leave the home and a showing begins. It seems to bring back happy childhood memories, as well.

7. Get rid of all the dirty and smelly shoes in the back hall that are cluttering the space. Use Pine Sol to clean the back hall and give it a fresh smell. No fragrance sprays, plug-ins or other artificial fragrances.

8. Outside: Cut the grass and plant fragrant flowers near the entrances to your home. Cut grass is a fresh, clean smell Buyers seem to love.

Remember: cleanliness is next to godliness. Every Buyer wants to see a clean and fresh home. Delivering on this will help lead to a quick sale. Most of the competing homes are not clean and clutter-free. It is a competitive advantage to make your home as neat and clean as it can possibly be. All the staging in the world cannot produce the same feeling to a Buyer as a clean and fresh property.

Powers Realty Group is a distinctive boutique real estate broker focused on the needs of customers delivering exceptional results. We are the trusted local experts. Call us today about buying or selling your home.

Call Suzanne Powers