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.
I 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 is 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.