The Smell and the Sell: How Odours Affect Your Sales Prospects

What’s that smell? It’s a bit of a loaded question, isn’t it! It can mean, “What is that wonderful, alluring smell? I want to explore!” Or it can mean, “Ugh. What is that smell? Let’s get out of here!” When it comes to putting your house on the market, smells can also mean the difference between selling and letting your property linger.

Eliminate It Now

There are some scents and odours that turn buyers off immediately. Banish these immediately:

Pet odours. Even pet owners dislike the smell of used bedding, food that’s sat out or – worse – dirty litter. Wash bedding and pop it in the dryer before showings. Keep food, water and litter boxes fresh by cleaning them daily.

• Food. Sure, home cooking makes your mouth water, but strong food and stuck-on grease odours will curb buyers’ appetite for your house. Give the kitchen a good going over, and ahead of open houses or visits, stay away from fish and other “smelly” bits (or go out for dinner!).

• Smoke. Cigarette smoke is toxic, and it lingers on walls, drapes and furniture. Buyers hate this odour. If you must smoke, do so outside (far away from the door). Investing in a professional cleaning is a great idea.

• Mildew and must. No one imagines moving into a home that smells like a neglected basement. Open the windows, turn on ventilation fans and air out the space. Wash all soft items, like drapes and throws, and use a fabric refresher for your upholstered furniture.

There are some scents that buyers do love. These include citrus (it just smells clean!), distilled herbs like basil and rosemary, vanilla, pine and cinnamon. There are a few rules for using these aromas:

• Keep them simple. Complex smells don’t sell. Instead of a potpourri mix, for instance, opt for warming up a simple cinnamon bun.

• Don’t overdo it. Don’t hit people over the head with those cinnamon buns or other pleasant scents. Just give them a subtle “taste.”

• When it doubt, just clean. A clean, fresh house smells great to interested buyers.

Need more tips? At Doorsteps, our team of online estate agents are here to help. Give us a call today to learn more.

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