3 Sources of Odors That Offend Buyers
March 17, 2017
Your sellers may have "nose blindness." The term refers to the process of adapting to the smells around you and becoming so desensitized to them that you learn to ignore them or become less sensitive to them, says Dr. Richard Doty, director of the Smell and Taste Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
But, of course, buyers will probably notice the stench as soon as they walk through the door. HouseLogic flags the following scents as common offenders in a home and how to get rid of them.
If the sellers have a pet, they will likely need to neutralize the trail of odors it leaves behind. Ask your clients to bathe and groom the pet regularly. Sprinkle some baking soda on the carpet and vacuum frequently. Remove pet hair, paying special attention to tight spaces where it most often accumulates, such as the border between the carpet and the wall or on the edges of steps.
Basement mustiness caused by mildew and mold is a common culprit in nose blindness, HouseLogic notes. Inspect the basement carefully, including every cardboard box, to try to find evidence of any gray or white splotches or mold. Take precaution when removing mold and mildew if using bleach. A trick to deodorize rooms: Set out a bowl of vinegar, cat litter, baking soda, or even an onion (the onion smell goes away in a few hours), HouseLogic suggests. Also, consider running a dehumidifier to improve the air circulation and ensure the smells don't return.
Yes, mattresses can stink too and can make the entire room smell. Sprinkle baking soda on them and let it remain there for an hour or more. Then, vacuum up the baking soda. You also might try adding a few drops of essential oil (like lavender) to the baking soda.
Source: “You Can’t Detect These 4 Odors, But Your Guests Can,” HouseLogic (March 2017)
Updated: June 18, 2018