No one wants to tell you. Your friends and family notice and frankly, they’re embarrassed for you. It’s a personal matter but now that you’ve announced you’re selling, someone needs to step up and tell you the truth. Your house stinks.
No, really. Your house smells bad.
It can be really hard to face this crucial fact. The hygiene of your home is nearly as personal (and taboo) as your personal hygiene. Maybe you really don’t notice the smell. Maybe over time you’ve gotten used to or told yourself it’s not that bad. Maybe you know it’s there but you’re hoping to find a great buyer with a broken sniffer.
But in the end you won’t escape this home selling reality: a stinky home equals stinky prices.
And whether that noxious odor is contained to one part of the house or has spread itself to every corner, don’t try to cover it up.
Here’s 5 tips to help you get rid of the bad smell for good:
- Locate the source. It will be very hard to fully eliminate that sour odor until you find the cause. Remember it’s not enough to mask that smell. Eliminating the wicked odor starts with locating the culprit. It is likely that the cause of your odor problems is hiding in one of your home’s many nooks and crannies. Check the chimney, crawl space, attic, closet corners, and other dark places. If the spot is inaccessible, consider calling a professional for help.
- Deodorize the dishwasher. One of the most common offenders in the home is the dishwasher. Your poor dish machine is likely the hardest working appliance you own. And it’s a nasty job scrubbing and rinsing all those dishes, glasses, and utensils everyday. The good news is this can be an easy fix. Simply fill a dishwasher-safe cup with white vinegar, place it on the top rack, and run it through a cycle without any dishes. If you don’t have a safe cup, pour two cups of vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher. Be prepared for the vinegar to smell for an hour or so, but then all smells will be gone.
- Clean out the kitty odor. We all love our pets. What we don’t love is the smell of someone else’s pets. If your family includes a cat or dog, assume your home has a pet smell. Again, the good news is that this problem is usually easily remedied. Activated charcoal, which is a form of carbon that has been “activated” to make it extremely porous, is great for absorbing a range of odors, especially those caused by pets. Many times activated charcoal can be purchased for less than $10. Put them in or near your litter box to help mitigate the stink.
- Eliminate washing machine mold. It is pretty common for laundry machine doors to seal so tightly that moisture can get trapped and lead to mold build up. The best way to treat this is with 2 cups of bleach and a hot water cycle. You can repeat this process if the first attempt doesn’t fully eliminate the smell.
- Tame that raunchy fridge. One of the biggest offenders among household odors is the refrigerator. Here I’d employ a two step process. First the fridge and remove any shelving that can be removed. Wash shelves in a sink of warm water with soap (dish soap should be fine). Then take a cloth also with warm water and soap and wash out in the inside of the fridge. Be sure to get any visible grime and reach all the way to the back and corners. After shelves have dried, reassemble the fridge and put a new box of opened baking soda in there. Allow that sodium barcarriate to do its work (at least 12 hours) before expecting results.
Eliminating an offensive odor can be one of the simplest and yet, more important pre-selling activities for a homeowner. You home should excite every sense of a potential buyer including their nose. A bad smell is going to scare off many buyers and is push down the price on offers you will receive.