Thursday, August 4, 2011

So You Are Selling Your House . . . Why Do I Smell . . .

Do I have your attention? These are words of advice to all homeowners thinking of selling please smell your home. Smell is such an important thing when selling your home.

Just recently I was showing in D.C. It was a lovely townhouse but then as the buyer and I walked up the stairs . . . THE SMELL . . . hit me . . . cat urine. That overwhelming odor of the ammonia when the box hasn't been cleaned. As we walked into the bedroom there it was the cat box and the mushy stale wet cat food. I have to give you the visual because this is how we see it when we walked in. It did not matter now how great it was we turned and left. So I felt compelled to talk about the unthinkable, the smell in your house.

Smell is a very conscience and sometimes subconscious entity that must be dealt with when selling your home. Smells can turn off buyers either because they are offensive, it can trigger good or bad memories, but more importantly it can cause the buyer to walk out the door and not even want to go back.

So when selling or thinking of selling look around and see what could cause any kind of smell. Your sweet cat, the cute dog, the rabbit and heaven help us all the weasel, can issue odors that will send even the most seasoned realtor running out the door. There are other things that cause smells. Example, we should not be able to smell what you had for dinner the night before.

The house needs to be cleaned, and in place in good order and smell free. Please also know that strategically placing deodorizers full of strawberry, flowery or any super scent will also send me running out the door. The first question that comes to my mind is what are you trying to hide? Now that I have voiced my opinion let me give you a few suggestions.

1. Get a friend or someone who will tell you the truth and have them walk through the house. Point of reference if they are not good housekeepers themselves they are not going to be a good point of reference.

2. Throw the garbage out, clean the litter box several times a day and GET RID OF THE FOOD ON THE FLOOR.

3. Give the dog a bath, clean his living area and again GET RID OF THE FOOD ON THE FLOOR.

4. Big offender is that smell in a basement after water has been there. Get a dehumidifier (make sure you empty it regularly), clean and find the source of water entry. Placing lime in crawlspaces helps to absorb the smell.

5. Call me I always give my sellers my honesty in order to sell their home and how to address smells. My cell 202-344-0045. I am a licensed Associate Broker in VA, MD, DC.

I have walked into plenty of fabulous homes to only have the buyer repelled by the smell. The other thing that occurs is you will see a low ball offer more often than not. That is if we can actually get the buyer to make an offer.

There are so many homes on the market and you must place your home in the best possible position so that you will be remembered because you have a great house and not because I remember that smell.

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