Updated: Jan 21
Household odors are one of the more challenging things to deal with in a home. It is incredibly important to keep up with them and even more important to get rid of them prior to selling your home. One of the major things that decreases value is odors (smoke & pets are the main ones). Buyers will be immediately turned off from your house if there are strange smells and sometimes they will even go as far as to offer drastically under price because it is so alarming.
No matter how beautiful the photos look and no matter how great the house is, odors can slow down your sale. Masking odors also is not a great way to take care of this issue as often times people know you are trying to hide them (or worse, people are allergic to the fake scents and have reactions in your house). So, how do you tackle odors in your home?
Use The Correct Cleaning Agents
Pets tend to be the source of a lot of different odors and many times it has to do with accidents. If you can catch the accident right after it happened, it is best to clean it immediately. Blot the accident with a paper towel and use a mild dishwashing liquid or a cleaner made specifically for accidents (like ones from Nature's Miracle, Arm & Hammer, etc.) to clean the spot. If you catch it after the accident has already dried, make sure that you take the time to completely clean the spot. In general, to keep your carpets in good shape, it is a good idea to get regular professional cleaning done. Let the cleaners know that you have some accident spots, so that they use the appropriate cleaning agents. If you decide to rent a carpet cleaner and do it yourself, make sure you select the pet odor eliminating cleaning solution at checkout. A lot of times, these formulas have special agents that can eliminate pet odors. One final option you can consider is using activated charcoal; most pet stores sell a version that is meant for pet odors.
Green Cleaning Products
If you are looking for an option that is a good green alternative, baking soda works wonders. You can place an open box of it in the room to eliminate odors. It can also help remove musty smells. Baking soda can, in certain circumstances, help with smoke smell in your home. You can also sprinkle baking soda on your carpets, let it sit, and vacum it up.
Say No To Artificial Sprays
This was mentioned above, but be sure not to just use artificial sprays to try to mask a smell. It doesn't truly remove the odor and what ends up happening is you overwhelm buyers with an incredibly strong artificial scent. It can also make them react with a runny nose and headache, which makes them uninterested in your house. Strong artificial smells also make people suspicious that something is being hidden from them.
If all else fails, hire a professional!
We see a lot of situations (especially with cat urine) where a professional can make a world of difference. Does it cost money? Yes. In fact it can cost a decent amount to have odor mitigation done. It is totally worth it though. There are professionals that use everything from heavy duty chemicals all the way to green cleaning products and they are skilled at locating the source(s) of odor in your home and getting rid of them. If you need a professional, send us a message and we can connect you with one!