Over the past fourteen years of selling real estate and over 350 homes, I’ve been amazed of how many homes on the market have a strong animal or cigarette odor. Many buyers as soon as they open the front door and walk in say “Forget it, we would not consider this home because of this odor”. Often times, the home owner does not realize how strong the smell is in their home. Buyers normally pick out the smell very quickly and can kill a potential deal immediately. Although the home may be gorgeous or priced right, normally it will take many more showings before getting a fair offer because of eliminating many potential buyers.
I just witnessed this scenario again recently in the Stone Oak community in San Antonio where a home should have sold much faster and for more money but had two large dogs inside and a strong animal smell in the carpeting. The owners were moving to the west coast for a job transfer and were stressed how long the home was taking to sell. Luckily for the sellers, my buyers overlooked the issue but the home took over three months to sell and at a discount.
My personal opinion is that the home owner is normally always losing value in their home to some degree. I have seen many examples of this over the years and it is very unfortunate. As a real estate professional, it is difficult to acknowledge to a home owner the truth at times, but essential.
What can you do about it? First of all, before placing your home on the market, get some honest opinions if there is an odor in your home. Family, friends and your real estate profession can help. Think of it this way. The less smell or eliminating any odor in your home will generally sell your home FASTER and for more MONEY…
Now that you are motivated, here is a list of things that can help: Grooming: First, frequent grooming can help minimize fur mess and odor. Brushing your dog and cat daily for about five minutes. That will help cut down on the fur flying around the house and pet hair does have a scent. Frequent Changing litter box frequently: At least once a day is important depending on how many cats. Vacuuming: Sprinkle your carpets with baking soda a few minutes before vacuuming to neutralize odors. Scented candles, odor neutralizers, and shampooing the carpet are other ways to help get the odors out of your home. Many times, there is nothing that can be done but replacing the carpet and padding. These smells can sometimes be difficult to eliminate. The effort is worth it and will put more MONEY in your pocket and hopefully a less stressful selling experience.
Always remember that buyers are very sensitive to the smell in your home. Make it a good one….Joe Corwin of SellSmart Real Estate, Corwin & Associates, has two offices to serve you in San Antonio and New Braunfels. Please call him anytime 7 days a week at (210) 792-8589