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  • Kristen Wright, Realtor

STINK HAPPENS: Selling A House With Less Than Pleasant Odors Class 101



I live with 3 male humans and 2 male dogs. While I love each of them dearly, none of them....not one....smells like roses. After one of the human-males mows the grass in August in Texas, they smell like the worst case of body odor on steroids that you can imagine. After one of the dog-males goes to the doggie park and decides to roll in his new friends doggie poo before getting into my car to ride home....well that’s an out-of-this-world-aroma experience, too. And then there’s me. I like to believe that I DO smell like a fresh bouquet of roses at any given moment of any given day. But I don’t.


But here’s the deal: I’m not trying to sell my house!


So it’s time to get real and talk about some practicals because the goal here is for you to successfully sell your house for top dollar. But news flash: God didn’t give us a sense of smell to ignore. It actually means something. An article published in Journal Science in March of 2014 reported that a nose can smell at least one trillion distinct scents. Good Lord! So let’s think about that for a minute:


* The vacuum bag that you wait to replace with a fresh bag until it’s about to explode like a button on Mrs. Doubtfire’s dress? Yep. The human nose can detect that dirty vacuum bag.


* The basket of dog toys in the corner that Fido has barely played with for the last 8 years? Yep. The human nose can detect 8 years of dried up dog slobber on those bad boys.


* The cereal bowl that your teenager hid under his bed 6 months ago with remnants of fruity pebbles and nasty milk? Yep. The human nose can smell that, too.


But here’s an even bigger news flash: because you live in the environment, your brain tells your nose that there isn’t anything there to smell. And THIS is why it “takes a village” to successfully sell your house. THIS is why we need our friends and family! If you are getting ready to sell your house, it is your responsibility to ask everyone that comes into your house if they can smell anything. And you need to be nice if they tell you they do. Thank them for telling you. Remember what I said earlier: the goal is to successfully sell your house for top dollar. Envision it this way: each stinky odor removed from your house is a dollar added to the sale.


So takeaways for you to ponder....and then COMMIT to:


* While getting your home ready to list, accept the fact that there may be some unpleasant smells you’ll need to deal with. Disregarding them or ignoring them will NOT benefit you as a seller. Remember what we’ve learned about these “bionic” noses we all have!


* The internet is your friend in these situations. You can find all sorts of home grown approaches at removing various smells, as well as finding professionals who can eliminate odors for you.


* Just like you can’t put lipstick on a pig and make that pig more attractive; you can’t light a candle right before your open house and hope that no-one smells the popcorn you burned in the microwave last night. There aren’t any shortcuts to removing odors. Do your homework and apply what you learn, it will be well worth it.


* Talk openly with your realtor about any odors in your house. Also, think about odors AFTER you list your house. If you promised your Aunt Betsy that you would dog-sit for her 3 Great Danes one weekend; that is most likely not an ideal weekend to have an open house (the following weekend may not be either, for that matter).

Be The Reason Real Estate Group takes pride in helping our clients. If you want to experience what that looks like, give us a call. We are more than happy to help. And we know that some topics may not be easy to talk about when selling your home; but the BENefits of tackling them can turn into “Benjamin’s” for you!



Remember to remove all stinky items...like athletic shoes.

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