ORLANDO, Fla. – A Florida home with lots of fresh air and a pleasant aroma is highly appealing to buyers. On the other hand, unpleasant odors from tobacco, mildew, pets, cooking ingredients or other causes can be immediate turn-offs.
“Airing out your home before buyers arrive can also eliminate those odors,” says Raygan Sessums, a Realtor® with Coldwell Banker Advantage Team in Wesley Chapel, Fla.
So, take the initiative and follow these tips as you prepare your house for showing:
- Let in Fresh Air — This one can be easy to overlook in Florida where virtually every home is air-conditioned. However, a well-ventilated property will smell fresher than one with the same air re-circulating endlessly. So, open screened windows and doors and let the Florida breezes freshen your home.
- Scrub Floors and Walls — Washing your home’s hard surfaces will help eliminate many odors, like mildew and tobacco. Thoroughly scour or polish wall tile, backsplashes, bathroom fixtures and appliances. And don’t overlook floor tile and grouting, wood, vinyl or terrazzo floors, walls, paneling, cabinets, doors, windows, mirrors, and even protective glass covering for paintings and photographs.
- Refresh — Sessums suggests pouring inexpensive cleaning products in the back of toilets and burning candles with neutral scents. Using fabric fresheners can also make a big difference. “You need to spray all of the fabric in your house on a regular basis to keep the odors away,” she says.
- Change or Replace — If you’re using your air conditioner, replace the filter or clean a washable filter monthly. Even if the filter looks clean, it has absorbed dog dander, dust mites and whatever cooking smells (fish, garlic, onion) you’ve created.
- Take Out Trash — Remove garbage frequently, and be sure that all your trash receptacles have a clean, fresh plastic liner before every showing. You’ll also want to clean litter boxes daily, deodorize a pet’s eating area and remove any animal droppings from the yard.
- Sprinkle a Little Baking Soda — Baking soda absorbs and banishes odor. Try sprinkling a small amount on floors or carpeting before sweeping or vacuuming. This is a cheap way to remove odors and leave your home smelling fresh. You can also put vanilla extract on light bulbs to give your home a warm and inviting smell.
- Check Your Closets — Closets can trap various offending smells. Since you’ll be moving anyway, discard old shoes and put odor–fighting liners inside the offenders you’ll be keeping.
- Paint Over — A fresh coat of paint seals up some odor problems permanently. Besides, buyers like rooms freshly painted in a neutral color.
- Clean the Unseen — It’s a good idea to clean your garbage disposal. “When you cook, especially when you fry food, you pour the food or oil down the disposal,” says Sessums. “This can leave your home smelling like food for days. I put fresh citrus, like slices of oranges, lemons, or limes, down the disposal. This not only makes it smell better, but it cleans your disposal at the same time.”
Still curious as to how to clean, stage, and sell your home? Talk to your local Realtor for more ideas about creating the sweet smell of sales success for our home.