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Smells that are guaranteed to put off prospective home buyers
Dec 2018
 

When you live in a property for a while you become immune to the way that it smells, but every house has a distinct ‘scent signature’ and it’s the first thing prospective buyers will notice when they walk through the front door. Here are the ones you want to avoid.

                         

Cooked/rotten food

You might be the next Gordon Ramsey, but the lingering smell of last night’s dinner is less than appealing for potential buyers. Strong scents such as cooked fish, garlic, or curry will hang around long after you’ve finished eating and they can be tricky to get rid of. Likewise, food in the fridge that is past its sell-by date or scraps that are left in the kitchen bin can cause unwanted odours to waft around your home.

How to avoid: Make sure you purge your fridge of any out-of-date items and empty the kitchen bin before viewers arrive. If you must cook strong smelling foods, make sure you open a window and use stovetop fans to minimise odours.

 

Animal odours

Pets are great company, but the smells they generate can be less than desirable. Even if your carpet hasn’t been used as a toilet, wet dog fur, litter boxes, and food bowls can cause unpleasant odours that are particularly noticeable to non-pet owners.

How to avoid: Make sure that litter boxes are clean and food bowls rinsed prior to viewings. Use a pet enzyme removal product to remove stubborn odours from carpets and furniture. Open windows during viewings, and if possible have a friend or neighbour take care of your pet so that viewers don’t associate your home with animal-related odours.

 

Smoke

Smoke is one of the most persistent odours and is all but impossible to get rid of completely – for home buyers it can be a deal breaker. Studies have found that 28% of prospective buyers would be put off buying a property if the current occupant smoked, and nearly three out of every four potential buyers would refuse to pay the full asking price.

How to avoid: Smoke as far away from the house as possible and make sure that windows are open during viewings. Wash or dry clean all your duvets, pillows, and curtains, and rent a steam cleaner to shampoo your carpets.

 

Damp/mildew

If your home smells damp, you may have more serious issues than an unpleasant odour – mould is a serious red flag for potential buyers and can affect both the structural integrity of your home and your health.

How to avoid: Use a dehumidifier to dry out the affected area and scrub mould and mildew with a specialist cleaning spray. To prevent mould from returning you may need to hire a professional to find the source of the problem.

Whether you are buying or selling a property, Lillicrap Chilcott offers expert advice and professional service. Contact us today for more information.