Ode to Odors

By
Home Stager with GreenApple Staging & Images, Calgary Staging & Photography

When I do Pre-Market Home Selling Consultations as a Calgary, Alberta Home Stager, I often see -- and smell -- a variety of scented products throughout the home. There's the plug-in variety, the spray variety, the stash-in-a-corner-and-please-absorb-the-smell-in-here variety.

Diffuser SticksI often ask about their presence . . . is there an issue in this room? Are you worried about an odor problem? Most home owners shrug and say that they think it's just prudent. You know . . . just in case.

The problem is that these products designed to "add a pleasant scent", are themselves usually way too strong and generally unpleasant. I mean, I'm pretty sure "mountain breezes" don't usually smell like eau de toilet in real life! And I don't really want every cell in my olafactory glands hyper-stimulated with "Freesia Fantasy", thank you very much. (Plus, I have to wonder about the health implications of all these chemicals floating around in the air I breathe).

Worse yet, the presence of these products often alert a potential buyer that there may in fact be an odor causing issue that you are trying to hide. And besides, no product out there is going to hide wet dog. It'll just make for a hideous . . . and I believe, probably toxic . . . combination of scent molecules.

Okay, I exaggerate (slightly), but according to About.com, the number one turn off for a potential buyer is strong odors in the home. Um, so think pets, smoking, cooking, mold, mildew and anything basically musty, soggy, and otherwise stale or disgusting.

So instead of masking your home's odors, embrace them! Tell yourself -- as the home owner -- there isCigarette in Ashtray no such thing as a bad smell. It is your friend, and very useful information, telling you to take action!

First of all, get an objective opinion about your home and it's inherent smell (that you are totally incapable of detecting . . . trust me). And please, don't kill the messenger or kick this gift-horse in the mouth! Thank them for their honesty, because it will allow you to make your home more marketable.

Secondly, find the source of the smell and deal with it. By "deal with it", I mean, obliterate it. Spraying Febreeze on the sofa isn't going to do it. If this means calling in the professionals, or replacing carpet, you just have to do it. The cost before you go on the market will be far less than the discount a buyer will demand to remedy your smelly problem--if they are even willing to take it on.

And lastly, go on the market with confidence. Once you've addressed this huge deal breaker, not only will buyers respond much more favorably to your home, maybe . . . just maybe . . . you'll enjoy living there a little bit more yourself.

 

 

 

Posted by

Deena Cottingham

GreenApple Staging & Images
Serving Calgary and Okotoks, Alberta

©GreenApple Staging & Images, 2010
All information is copyrighted and may not be used, borrowed or copied without written permission.

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Re-Bloggged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Cindy Bryant 02/05/2010 11:43 PM
  2. Sharon Tara 02/06/2010 12:05 PM
  3. Shirin Sarikhani 02/08/2010 10:37 PM
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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Alberta Calgary Region
Groups:
Alberta Real Estate
Home Staging
PRES Staging Resource Centre
"Whacked"!!!
Tags:
odors
home selling
sale preparation
real estate consultation

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Rainmaker
646,601
William James Walton Sr.
Greater Waterbury Real Estate
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group

Deena - your recommendations make perfect sense. People should identify what's causing the odor first, then eliminate...not mask...

Although I have heard that heating cinnamon can eliminate some odors...I wonder...

February 07, 2010 05:43 PM
Rainer
128,913
Deena Cottingham
Home Stager & Photographer
GreenApple Staging & Images, Calgary Staging & Photography

Thanks again for all your comments!

Erica - no way . . . frying fish?? Do people not understand that if you want your house to sell, you might have to make some choices and sacrifices for awhile?

Amy - yes, I agree with you that I'd rather smell a scented gadget over musty -- if those are my only choices. But I'd rather buy a house that doesn't have smell issues in the first place.

Jo - I loooove banana bread! That's a smell worth buying for!

Patricia - I am with you on the essential oils. Put a little in some vinegar water for cleaning, and you've got an effective environmentally friendly product, too!

Thanks John, Ted & Rebecca!

Christine - there are some soy based candles that are considered safe.

Sharyn & Victoria - a goat?? Yes, that'd be something to talk about afterwards!

Loreena - excellent point about ozone cleaners. I hear that they absolutely do work, there is just some controversy over the health implications. Definitely not recommended for people with respiratory issues.

Glen - so glad you weighed in and shared your stories! Sure enough, truth proves to be stranger than fiction!

Pam - no I haven't seen that commerical. I think I'd feel the same as you about it, though!

Thanks Marc and Joetta for your visit. And thanks for the link!

Aaron - great question. Well, I'd take baking smells over just about any artificial smell, that's for sure. I know this tactic works for a lot of people and they swear by it. As for me, I don't know . . . does it seem like you're trying too hard? I personally haven't done this when selling a property . . . I try to go for the truly fresh and clean. However, in some situations, maybe this would help a lingering odor even if the problem has been dealt with.

William - there are a few comments that would indicate so. I'd have to try it myself to see if it would eliminate an odor. I suppose if the source is gone (frying fish, or something), then perhaps it would certainly help clear the air!

 

February 07, 2010 07:18 PM
Rainer
130,775
Valerie Sagheddu
~Home Staging Professional, Poconos, PA
Apostle Art Home Staging & Design

Deena...you bring up a good point about buyers questioning whether or not you are hiding something. I used to use the plug ins but have laid off and tend to agree that it should not be necessay if the "bad" odors are eliminated!

February 08, 2010 09:27 AM
Rainer
58,845
Shirin Sarikhani
RESA-Pro
Seattle Staged To Sell www.seattlestagedtosell.com

Hi Deena. Personally, I can't stay in "scented", since I am allergic to most of the scents. 

 

Three weeks ago, an agent called me to checkout one of his listings, that was not selling after being on the market for six months. 

The home was a modern one with beautiful views of the Puget Sound. First of all, the house was not staged and in addition, he had three plugins in the living room. I could only stay for couple of minutes inside of the house. He got the message!

Thanks for the blog - a very important topic.

February 08, 2010 10:34 PM
Rainmaker
648,717
Sharon Paxson
Newport Beach Real Estate - HOM Sotheby's Int'l Re
HÔM Sotheby's International Realty, BRE License 01501912
Great title - ode to odors is oh so important! When there are floral odors, they are probably hiding something. My guess is animal something!
February 13, 2010 06:24 PM
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Rainer
128,913

Deena Cottingham

Home Stager & Photographer
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Additional Information

I like creating discussion among other professionals in the real estate industry on various staging, photography and off-beat topics. I value the insight of others and the synergy we all benefit from when we collaborate--iron sharpens iron! I also have a love for fitness, personal growth and my family. Locations of visitors to this page