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Eliminate Odors Before Selling Your House

If you’re selling a home, you want to make it as appealing as possible to potential buyers—especially if you expect to make some good money on your sale. And while most sellers are aware of things like cleaning and staging, there’s one area that often gets overlooked—smells!

How to Eliminate Odors to Avoid Buyer Turnoff

eliminate odors from pets

A house can look absolutely beautiful, but if the smell’s off, buyers may be put off, too. You might not even be aware that your home has an unusual or unpleasant odor—especially true for pet owners—so it’s important to take steps to eliminate odors even if you don’t smell anything out of the ordinary. Here’s how.

Open the windows

open windows to eliminate odors

One of the best ways to freshen up your home is to open those windows and let in some fresh air. Coming off the cold winter season, your house might be a little more stuffy than normal, anyway. And with the weather getting nice, it’s the perfect time to open up.

Deep clean everything. Even furniture.

cleaning supplied to eliminate odors

If the fresh air doesn’t get out all the smells, odds are, you need a good deep clean. Strong scents, like pets or certain cooking spices, can soak into floors, furniture, and even walls and drapes. Depending on how much odor elimination you need, it might benefit you to hire a professional to steam clean carpets or upholstery.

Keep it clean & tidy

washing dishes

That initial deep clean won’t last long if you don’t keep up with the cleaning. That means extra scrubbing, wiping, and dusting, but it also means staying on top of chores like taking out the trash, emptying cat litter, washing dishes, and even frequently emptying out the fridge.

The more time that potentially odorous waste or trash sits around, the more time it has to seep into its surroundings—that is, your home.

Do some extra laundry

folding laundry

It’s obviously a bad idea to leave dirty laundry lying around, but you may also want to consider doing a little extra laundry after your initial deep clean. If they’ve been sitting for a while, the unused clothes or linens in your closets may have absorbed some unique smells of their own. Load up the washer and easily eliminate that part of the problem.

Consider odor traps for heavier smells

baking soda trapping odors

If you’ve still got smells you just can’t shake (like pets, food, or smoke), you might want to consider deodorizers or odor traps. You can make your own fairly easily by placing baking soda or distilled vinegar in bowls around the house (or in coffee filters in drawers).

Welcome in light fragrances


Some light and subtle fragrances, like potpourri or candles, can help mask or replace lingering odors with fresher and more pleasant scents. Just be careful not to overdo the perfume and turn off buyers by giving them a headache!

Eliminate the source of scents

cat on the couch

If you don’t want to constantly be deodorizing your home, you might want to eliminate the scents at their source. Dole out chores to any and all household members—like taking out the trash, washing dishes, or doing laundry. Be diligent about cleaning pet stains (or preventing them in the first place). And you might want to crack down on some housekeeping rules, too—no shoes, no smoking, and no pets on the furniture.

Thinking of Selling in the Triangle?

Looking for ways to eliminate odors because you’re thinking of selling a home in the Triangle area of North Carolina? Carla Freund Realty is here to help! Contact us today to learn more about how we can get your home looking (and smelling) fantastic, price it accurately, and list it for top dollar.

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