Every home has a smell, but homeowners are typically unable to smell their own home as others do. When bad, unpleasant, or musty smells develop, guests may notice it when residents don't. When you live in a place, your nose gets used to smells. Naturally, one common problem that many home sellers ignore is that their house smells. Here's how to get rid of icky odors before you sell your house.
Ask for Help
Ask someone who can be unbiased to visit your home and give you an honest opinion about its smell. This can be a realtor, trusted co-worker, or candid friend. Emphasize the importance of knowing the truth, though, and try not to get visibly upset if you are told that your house, well, stinks. Just like with addictions of all kinds, the first step is admitting you have a problem.
Get to the Bottom of It
Move pets to another area of the home as you go room by room to clean the entire house. In each room, dig deeply to clean. For example, in the bedroom, take all pillows and blankets off the bed. Then take the mattress off, too! Clean both sides of the mattress. In the living room, remove the slipcovers on all cushions and wash them. In the living room, remove all tablecloths and rugs.
Keep in mind the following as you clean:
- If you come across any noticeable stains, try to replace the item. Stains may be stinkier than you realize.
- Wash anything that is cloth even if you don't think that it needs it. Smells can accumulate over time on things like sofa slipcovers, yet many people never even clean them.
- Take time to bleach most surfaces in the bathroom as well as areas where you've kept the litter box.
Try to Move Pets Early
Companion animals become part of the family, and they deserve to be treated as such. Unfortunately, pets often are major contributors to smells in the home. If you are able to move out of your home while selling it, be sure to take pets to the new home. If companion animals can temporarily stay with friends during the home selling process, that may be an option that can keep even small pet smells at bay. Otherwise, take hygiene to a whole other level while the home is for sale, being sure to never miss giving your dog a weekly bath and brushing them frequently to cut down on shedding. If pets have accidents in the home, be sure that all bathroom messes are thoroughly cleaned immediately.
Finally, keep in mind that the good news is that the problem is fixable no matter how stinky your home may be. Kick bad smells to the curb in order to increase the appeal of your home and connect with a buyer who will never be able to tell which bad smells once radiated from their dream home.