What's that funny, funky smell in the house? Did someone die in here?
Selling your home in Litchfield County CT? Take a wiff and see if it stinks!
Years ago an agent I know was pulling up listings to show a buyer and the remarks on one house said... "P.U. This one stinks!" And that was all it said in the description. The listing agent was spot on from what we all heard when she returned from showing the property.
The other day we were out previewing homes and noticed a theme. Out of the 12 houses we saw, the majority of them "smelled" and it wasn't good. From the least expensive to the most expensive, smells aren't picky.
Musty smells, pet odors, smoke and just plain funky smells that I couldn't identify. Then there was that "what died in here" smell. It was not a delight to the senses.
Trust me on this one, buyers will notice. Buyers notice EVERYTHING.
Buyers senses kick into high gear when they drive up to a house. Sight, sound and SMELL! They notice every detail, and something like a bad smell will kill the deal for sure.
I know we can get used to our own "smells". Usually you can spend a few moments outside in the fresh air, go back inside and see what your house smells like. Or invite that one friend over who is always brutally honest. Suck it up and find out the truth... does my house smell like a dead rat?
If it's a musty smell, there might be a problem. Check your attic for signs of a roof leak, check the vents to make sure your house can breathe, check around the doors and windows for any leaking into the walls. Check plumbing, under sinks, etc. Check in the basement for water. Put your nose to the floors and see if you can track down where the smell is coming from! Once you identify the source you can address it.
Pet odors are fairly simple to figure out. Years ago we had a dog that smelled no matter what you did. He just smelled all the time, clean or not. Even the other dogs seemed offended when Gurt came near them. It was a good thing that he rarely came into the house, but oh boy did he stink. Thank goodness I have not had another like him.
Make sure your pet bedding is clean, and maybe it is time for the pooch to have a bath? Cat odors are harder to get rid of, keep those cat litter boxes clean. Really clean. There are products out there that can help, so they say. I use Zero Odor and Natures Miracle for my kitty smells. It seems to do the trick. I have had clients that ended up ripping up carpets and came close to having to replace the subflooring to get rid of cat accident smells.
Food smells? Try simmering a pot filled with half vinegar and half water. Or try water with orange and lemon peels in it.
Is there a body buried in the basement? It sure smells like it!
The dreaded dead animal smell. Yes, it happens. Sometimes you can walk into a house and wonder what died in here! Truth of the matter is, perhaps a small critter got inside the walls and bought the farm. Honestly, only time will solve that problem if you have rotting critters in your walls.
Not only will buyers not like the smell of rotting vermin, but they won't like the idea that there are vermin in the house at all!
Plug up holes around the house and whatever you do, don't use bait (poison). You stand a really good chance of them dying inside the walls from using a bait product. Trap them and dispose of the body outside or call in a professional to rid yourselfs of the vermin.
When trying to de-funk your house try products that don't have heavy, perfumy or flowery smells. That just adds to the funky-ness of the smell and makes it harder to take. Take a more natural approach or call in a professional to de-funkify your home.
Nothing will stop a buyer dead in their tracks faster than a house that stinks!
Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate
2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors
2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776
© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain