Has your home been sitting on the market for months and months? If you can’t figure out why it’s not selling, it’s time to consider…

The Smell.

Does your home have “The Smell?” There’s no single “smell” to contend with, but any striking odor can put buyers off your house. A few of the most common include the smell of stale cigarette smoke, pet odor, or a musty, moldy smell.

There’s no denying it: A smelly home just isn’t going to sell the same way a fresher home will. As Charlotte’s staging experts, we’ve seen (and smelled) it all and we’ve realized it’s often quite difficult for home sellers to smell their own homes! To you, your home smells like…well, home. To a buyer, it might smell like wet dog…or worse.

If you’re not sure whether your home has an odor, ask someone you trust! Your Realtor should give you an objective perspective but if you need a second opinion, talk to a friend or neighbor you feel comfortable with. Ask them to come in, room by room, and note any off-odors they detect. And remember not to take it personally! Life gets kind of smelly, and home is where you live.

So, your home stinks. What should you do!?

First of all, don’t panic. Almost any home smell can be remedied. If your home has a musty, dank odor, you’ll want to have it tested for hidden mold. Mold is something that will likely come up in your inspection, anyway, so it’s best to head off this issue at the pass. Once you find out whether you have mold you can remediate the problem and fix the root-case (such as a leaky pipe.)

Maybe your home doesn’t smell moldy, but it does smell like pets or cigarettes? These smells are incredibly common, but off-putting nonetheless. Fabrics are what absorb pet and smoke odors, and carpets are the worst offenders. The best plan is to have your carpets completely replaced; if that’s not an option, pay to have the carpets (and rugs, and furniture) professionally cleaned. If your furniture is particularly smelly, it may be worthwhile to have a stager replace it all with rental pieces until you sell the home.

If you’ve got another smell – maybe it’s sort of fishy (could be sign of an electrical problem!) or kind of rancid (there might be a dead animal in the attic or the crawlspace!) – have professionals come in to check things out. The HVAC, the plumbing, and the electrical systems are all great places for smells to start.

Studies show that eliminating bad smells and implementing good smells can go a long way toward selling your home! Citrus, herbs, vanilla, and green tea smells have been “proven” to win over buyers.



Does your home need help crossing the finish line?
Creative Home Stagers can help you stage your on-the-market home.