Unpleasant odors in the house can have a negative effect on prospective buyers.
The larger issue at hand is how to determine what distinguishes a pleasant odor from an unpleasant one. As a general rule, rather than attempt to ferret out differences between pleasant and unpleasant odors, your best bet is to maintain an odor neutral environment. An odor neutral environment is one where you can’t detect any odors at all. Mold that grows in humid temperature can also cause this problem which is why before you sell your house make sure that you go for a mold inspection. That will improve the chance of you selling your house really quickly.
One of the main problems with this, however, is that it is often difficult for people to tell when they have an odor in their own homes. This is because people become accustomed to certain odors and to them, those odors begin to smell perfectly normal. Over time, they can even become unnoticeable, and therefore odor neutral, to them because they are so normal.
If you’re a smoker and you’re trying to sell your house, you may have a problem, at least selling it to a nonsmoker, unless you take proactive measures to eradicate any and all odors from your home. This includes changing the air filter in the air-conditioning system, keeping the air circulating as much as possible, and allowing fresh air from the outdoors to flow through when the weather permits. Because carpeting and furniture can absorb odors, you’ll also want to call a cleaning service that specializes in cleaning carpets and upholstery.
Air fresheners and deodorizers may also be helpful, especially if sprayed shortly before a buyer comes to see your home. Be careful not to overdo it though. It’s kind of like the guy you know down the hall at the office who always wears too much cologne. He thinks he smells great, but everyone else is keeping their distance.
Another major type of odor to be aware of is caused by pets. Pet odors include a dirty or musty smell from the dog himself, because he hasn’t had a bath since the day he was born, as well as from urinating and defecating in any place other than where he is supposed to. It is the latter of these two that can really create problems. If a pet has routinely taken care of business on the family room carpet, for example, the carpet and the pad underneath it may need to be replaced. Once urine soaks into absorbent material like carpeting, it’s difficult at best to remove the odor, especially if it’s been in there for a while. These unpleasant odors can potentially diminish the value of a home unless they are removed.
Other problem odors include musty or moldy smells from leaky basements, foul odors from backed up or leaky plumbing, and smoke from a wood-burning fireplace. Water leaks in a basement can generally be repaired without too much trouble, depending of course on the severity of the leak. Plumbing odors are often caused by a wax ring around the base of a toilet that is not sealing as it should be, or perhaps from a sink trap that is not operating properly. Common causes for fireplace odors include not having the flue open far enough while the fire is burning, and the accumulation of ashes in the firebox. These are minor problems and are usually fairly easy to resolve by either making the repairs yourself or by calling the appropriate professional.