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The power of smell when selling your home!

Home selling is a first impressions business! Walking into an open home and smelling musty damp, stale smoke, or old cooking aromas, is not going to help you achieve positive first impressions. Both tidiness and a pleasant smell are crucial when trying to sell your home.

Sense of Smell

The sense of smell relates heavily to memory and emotion. Positive scents make us want to repeat the experience, good food for example, while "bad" smells can trigger a sensitive response, such as smelling smoke in a setting where there shouldn't be. Walking into a property which does not smell pleasant, will not evoke a positive reaction, however entering a property which smells fresh and clean will induce a positive emotion.

Things that are clean, smell clean!

Here are some cleaning tips that will help eliminate odour in preparation for selling you house:
  • Wash all bed covers and wash or dry-clean curtains
  • Have the carpet cleaned or, if necessary, replaced
  • Mop hard-surface floors with a lightly scented or unscented cleaner
  • Scrub the bathrooms top to bottom, again being careful to use lightly scented cleaners or to allow time for the room to air out
  • Store old shoes in plastic boxes with lids
  • Wash pet bedding
  • Take out the trash
  • If possible, move pet paraphernalia and litter boxes to a garage or otherwise away from main living areas.

Tips for dulling or removing strong household odours

Removing pet smells out of carpets takes care; you will likely need to use special solutions or a steam cleaner. Vinegar will work on most flooring.

If you smoke, try to smoke outside as much as possible while your property is on the market. Most non-smokers are very sensitive to the smell of smoke. Not only may they want to leave, they could also find the prospect of cleansing a home of smoke odour a turnoff. If there is a heavy smell in the home from years of smoking indoors, try washing the walls with vinegar. And do not forget the curtains, light shades and anything else that might collect the resin from the smoke.

For any other unwanted smells, try baking soda. Sprinkle it around the house, on the furniture and on the carpets. Let it sit for a day so the granules can absorb the odours and then vacuum it all up.

Bottom line is this, if you are wanting to get top dollar when selling your property, you need to put the effort into presenting it in the best way possible. This includes making sure there are no overwhelming smells.

Positive smells for your home

It has been suggested that scents which are "fresh" could aid in positive smell association when selling your home, some examples of these are: lemon, green tea, cedar, vanilla, basil, fresh flowers, home baking.

On the flip side you do not want your property to smell too strongly of anything, even if it is deemed a "nice" smell. Beware of strong scented candles, deodoriser sprays, incense sticks etc. as people could be allergic.

The best tip is to open the windows and let the air in!


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