The impact of bad house smells can’t be underestimated. That initial whiff will give a negative first impression and psychologically reaffirm that the property belongs to someone- your scent; your territory.
Here are a few tips on what to do to get your property smelling fresh so that it invites positive thoughts from prospective buyers. Do not be tempted to use quick fix air fresheners or strong smelling candles to mask smells – there really is nothing worse than odour de smelly house mixed with sickly vanilla!
Pet smells – somehow disgusting if it’s not your pet! I recently rejected the perfect used car because of the damp doggy odour. Dogs will smell not because they are dirty, but because of doggy hormones and scent marking odours carried on their coats, so there is not much you can do to stop them smelling.
Keep pet beds out of the main living areas during viewing times. Regularly vacuum pet hairs that carry odours, steam clean carpets and launder pet bedding and towels etc. You don’t need to buy expensive products, neutralise odours with nothing more than baking soda; sprinkle smelly areas and leave for a couple of hours for the baking soda to absorb the smell and vacuum.
Smelly bedrooms – something you don’t notice until you have been away from the room. Air rooms every day if the weather permits, open the windows. Ventilation is the single most important part of controlling smells in a bedroom. If necessary, use an air purifier with a HEPA-type filter to help trap odours.
If you must have carpet in your bedrooms, vacuum regularly and steam clean every week while viewings are taking place. Bedroom carpets are very prone to trapping smells caused by body bacteria; walking barefoot, leaving clothes lying around and shedding skin when we undress all contribute to the problem.
Don’t make your bed until bed time; pull back the covers and allow the odour causing moisture you have produced through the night, to air properly. Change bed sheets regularly – certainly before a viewing.
Clear out wardrobes and give them a good clean. Launder clothes that have been hanging in the wardrobe for a while even if you haven’t worn them. Don’t leave dirty laundry in open baskets.
Spray or powder your footwear when you take them off. Bacteria from our bodies (which we all have!) left to cultivate in our footwear, creates a terrible smell if left untreated.
Cooking smells – if you have a viewing the next day, then avoid smelly suppers! Make sure extractor filters are replaced before you market property. Some smells are of course quite appealing to most; freshly baked bread & filter coffee. Try not to make it too obvious – oranges in a fruit basket radiate a pleasant smell.
Musty cupboards – there are lots of reasons cupboards get musty, the most obvious is lack of air circulating and the possible build-up of mould. Clear out the contents and wash/dry. Treat any mould and leave cupboards open to air, preferably with a window open too. A bowl of soda crystals left in the cupboard can do wonders over a few days.
General damp smells – if you live in an older property that doesn’t get aired often because, for example windows are shut during the day, you might find investing in a positive pressure ventilator will be a great purchase. Generally fitted in a loft, it works by supplying a constant flow of clean air through the property.
Cigarette smells – probably the biggest turn off these days. The smell gets right into furniture, clothes and carpets/curtains/soft furnishings. This will involve a commitment to not allowing people to smoke in the property. Start by airing the rooms or using an odour extractor if needed. Launder as much as you can, soft furnishings etc. on a cool wash with half a cup of white vinegar.
Leave bowls of vinegar out overnight in the worst affected areas. The smell of vinegar will not linger for long. You will be amazed though what a difference it makes.
Lastly get in the professions to clean carpets and furniture, if the smell lingers.
For more advice about getting your property ready to wow prospective buyers contact Prep My House Limited 01329 248747. email@example.com www.prepmyhouse.co.uk