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The nose knows

Unpleasant smells can turn off potential buyers

Created date

March 22nd, 2011

We ve all heard the age-old saying you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Well, that certainly applies when it comes to attracting buyers to a house for sale. Studies have shown that a buyer s impression of a house is made in the first 30 seconds upon entering and a decision to buy or not is not too long after that. How can you ensure that your house will make the best impression possible? Use your nose.

Passing the sniff test

One of the first things people notice when they walk into a house is the smell. A strong or unpleasant odor can turn off a buyer immediately. Be sure that each room is not only tidy, but that it smells clean too. Be careful to avoid harsh chemical smells, such as bleach. Many buyers may be sensitive to these smells and will want to make a quick exit. Consider placing flowers, fresh cut herbs, or potpourri around your home and using air fresheners or candles (when supervised) to create ambience. Pet owners and smokers may have their work cut out for them. Smoke can infiltrate furniture, carpets, and even walls. And with many buyers suffering from allergies, you may need to send Fido to doggy day care for the day. To eliminate bad smells, bathe your pets and freshen the cat litter box frequently; shampoo your carpets; dry clean your drapes; and empty trash cans, recycling bins, and ash trays. Place open boxes of baking soda in smell-prone areas and refrain from cooking fish or strong-smelling foods. Another tried and true way to create an olfactory feeling of warmth and comfort is to bake something that smells wonderful just before the house is shown. Baked cookies with cinnamon or chocolate leave a great aroma in the house. Freshly baked bread or pie can fill your home with sweet memories. Consider heating some apple juice in a crock pot and throw in apple, orange, or lemon slices along with some cinnamon and nutmeg. Let it simmer for a while so the smell has a chance to spread throughout the house. Whatever the scent, keep in mind you are trying to create an inviting allure so that potential buyers can see your house as their home. Remember, when selling your house in today s market, you not only need to have everything looking good but smelling good too!