Could Pet Odor Be Preventing Your Sale?

No Smell GraphicSorry we have to talk about this.  But your selling price will increase if your home smells inviting – no off aromas.  

Ask your real estate broker for an honest assessment about whether or not your home has an offensive pet odor.If your home stinks, no judgement.  We’ve all had wonderful aging but incontinent pets.  Here’s how to maximize your selling price:

VENTILATE: While you’re cleaning, blow bad smells out. First, open windows on all sides of your home. Then put a strong fan blowing out a window; this will create cross-ventilation from windows the other side of the home. Continue to bring fresh air into the home throughout the selling period.

WASH YOUR HOME: Wash floors and walls soiled by pets with a 1:10 vinegar-to-water spray or (even better) an odor-neutralizing product. Nature’s Miracle and other such products are available in pet supply stories, costing for $10 to $25. Another inexpensive cleaning product: a 1:9 bleach-to-water mixture on hard surfaces, such as cement floors. Do you have a persistent odor which covers a big space? You may need to hire a cleaning service which specializes in removing stubborn smells; this several hundred dollar upfront cost may hurt, but will make your home a real option for buyers.

Nature's Miracle AdvancedFRESHEN DRAPES AND UPHOLSTERY: Since pet odors linger in fabric, you must clean all fabric window coverings and upholstered furniture. If washable, do them yourself and then iron. If not, use a steam cleaner or have them dry cleaned, according to instructions on the drapes. Upholstered furniture also needs to be cleaned. One option is to buy a (pet compatible) steam cleaner yourself, for around $200. Alternately, you can hire a professional. Hiring a professional to steam clean costs around $100 for a sofa, around $40 for an upholstered chair, and around $10 for dining room chairs, depending on your local cost-of-living.

Shampoo all carpets and rugs: Rent a shampooer at a big-box hardware store, or hire a professional. Professionals vary considerably in the quality they provide, so check references. Ask them about the filters on their machines, types of pre-treatment, shampoo, and post-treatments they provide. Some are natural, others contain toxic chemicals. Professional carpet cleaning ranges from $25-$60 per room, depending on services provided and condition of carpets. If your carpets still smell bad after cleaning (ask a friend), have the professional apply a deodorizer. If the smell remains, it has soaked into the carpet and padding and you must replace both. When the old carpet has been removed, wash the subfloor with an odor neutralizing solution. When the floor is dry, smell it. If it is odorless, install new padding and carpet. If the floor itself is has a bad odor, you will need to replace sub-floor before replacing carpet. A competent handyman should be able to replace subfloor for you.

Eliminate Pet Odor To Sell HomeTreat your walls: In addition to drapes, upholstery and carpets, pet odors may have seeped into your walls. The smell can get into drywall, plaster, and woodwork. If odor neutralizing cleaners don’t work, try a new coat of paint or stain, or replace the affected area with new drywall or wood. Brick and cement can be sealed after cleaning. This may contain odor.

Use scented plug-ins, candles, or potpourri: Potpourri, candles, or plug-ins can help distract from other odors. Do not go overboard. According to the Washington Post, light orange with hints of lemon encourage buying universally. Consider putting light smell in the areas with any residual by pet odors.

Eliminate ongoing pet odor: If your dog has an indoor pad to urinate upon, remove pads every time they are used. Put them in an outdoor garbage can with a tight-fitting lid. Do not have any pads visible during showings. For cats, replace all kitty litter every day. Keep the area around your cat’s box swept and tidy.

Relocate pets: Have your pets stay with a friend while your house is on the market. If not possible, remove your pet and all pet paraphernalia before showings. Confine your cat to one room while trying to sell your house; keep this room pristine.

Eliminate Pet Odor to Sell HomeYOUR SWEET-SMELLING HOUSE: After the expense and effort of freeing your house from funky odors , keep your house smelling great. If your house has a neutral odor, your selling price will likely be considerably higher.

About the Author