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Smell This House!

By Eileen Gill

Most people understand how important it is for your home to look its best when it on the market, but what about something else that's just as important? The smell!

Smells and scents are so important and can have such an effect on you that there are companies who market scent formulas, charging their clients millions. They even have an institute and a national annual trade show. Businesses know that smell matters - and they spend crazy amounts of money introducing scents that will make you want to buy, buy, buy!

Since your home becomes a product when it's on the market, let's get it to smell like a product that people will want to buy. Smoking, pets odors, cat boxes, cooking smells, diaper genies, refrigerators that need to be cleaned (oh, that's a whole other blog post - but, yes, people will open your fridge!), sweaty gym clothes, and stinky shoes. And let's not forget my personal pet peeve - PLUG INs.

These are just a few of the odors I experience on a daily basis in other people's homes. Most people are no longer aware of the odors in their homes because their noses have adjusted to them. If you have your home on the market, ask an honest friend to do a sniff test - in all the rooms.

I started to write this post after attempting to show a vacant house with SIX plug-ins plugged in. The first question that popped into my head - and would in any potential buyer's - was, "What smell are they trying to cover up?"

After this experience, it was hours before I could taste or smell anything but chemicals. This happens all the time in my work, and I usually either turn around and leave or I go through the house, pulling them out of the walls. So I decided to see if it was just me. Apparently it's not. If you don't have time to read, let me just hit you with the most important paragraph:

Air freshener chemicals have been implicated in cancer; neurological, reproductive, and developmental disorders; and other conditions. The synthetic chemicals in air fresheners also can aggravate asthma and/or trigger attacks.


Instead of buying these expensive, apparently toxic, plug-ins, buy yourself a bottle of an essential oil and drip it on your carpets. One drop will make your home smell like a spa! Rosemary, lavender, lemon, grapefruit - all of these have been proven to improve alertness and mood. And you want people to be alert and in a good mood while they are viewing your home, right?

In order to get your home smelling like a place that people would want to live, the most important thing is to get it clean, clean, clean. When your home is on the market, you need to live in it gently - no cooking fish or other strong-smelling meals, like curry. Empty cat litter boxes and diaper genies daily. Keep dirty clothes to a minimum, and clean out your fridge. Selling your house is never easy - but with a little extra effort, you can be on your way to your next home!

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Eileen Gill
Eileen Gill · Real Estate Blogger · The Gill Agency · Austin, TX
A multi-million dollar producer for more than a few years, Eileen brings you The Gill Agency - a group of like-minded, super-smart, professional agents who want to help you with the biggest purchase or sale of your life. MORE ABOUT Eileen Gill

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