We've all experienced it. while showing property, or running around on tour, every once in a while we come across that (otherwise lovely) dwelling that smells so bad it makes you wonder if any CSI personnel might be there collecting DNA off a dead body in one of the bedrooms!
OK...that might be a little extreme, but you know the type of scenario I'm talking about, right?...Like someone dumped off a truckload of stinky sneakers, old milk cartons and empty tuna cans in the living room, shut all the windows, and cranked up the heat!
Not good...for many reasons.
And, no, this isn't a post to remind everyone to have fresh baked cookies in the oven at their open houses (although, it's definitely one smell that seems to make everyone smile...especially when they see that there really ARE cookies being served).
This is serious stuff that some Agents occasionally overlook when it comes to preparing their listings for public showing. Why does this happen?? Do I just have an extra sensitive nose?...
Yes... I'm just one of those finicky listing agents that likes to get involved beyond the standard paperwork and typical preparation required to bring a home onto the market. I also owned a staging company for several years (which will come into play here soon).
When a home smells bad it needs to be addressed in a tactful manner. The good news is that it's not that difficult a task (like having to tell a colleague that you've had about all you can take from their halitosis). The truth is, (although it may just be a matter of proper refuse disposal, or cleaning the carpets, etc), there's always the possibility that something else more sinister is lurking underneath the surface. Mold? A dead rat in the wall? A plumbing or sewer gap? Who knows, but it might be worth investigating.
Bottom line: If you smell it, (and hopefully your olfactory senses are in good shape), then the buyer is going to smell it, too. They're going to wonder what other surprises that property has in store for them...or if "that's just how the house or neighborhood is, so take it or leave it". I've seen several buyers make comments like, "this place obviously needs some work", or, "...has some issues that I don't know if I want to deal with"...and all from a bad smell! Sometimes when I staged properties for other brokers, I would hide air fresheners in strategic spots around the home to try and dissipate a lingering or unpleasant aroma that nobody was obviously addressing. It wasn't my listing, so why should I care?! Well, for one, I didn't want anyone to think the smell was coming from the furnishings (which it wasn't), and, 2) Selfishly, I wanted that house to sell quickly so as to keep our staging results track-record consistent!
Remember: Clever marketing and good value won't always compensate for an unpleasant feel a buyer may get when they walk into a home that smells like...well, you get the picture. ;-)
Here's hoping that all your listings are fresh and ready to roll...