You want to know one reason why buyers immediately walk out when entering a Windsor house for sale? SMELL! Even before buyers cast their eyes on the inside of your property, they are smelling it. A home can be spotless, but if it has a bad odor, buyers take note and they rarely forget.
So what turns buyers off?
1. A house that smells like smoke:
Homes that smell like cigarette smoke turn away buyers quicker than almost anything. That overwhelming odor is the first thing a buyer notices when they walk through the door. And don’t think that air freshener will get rid of that smell. Cigarette smoke gets into the furniture, drapes and walls. That’s why, as a real estate agent, I always suggest that if you are a seller that smokes, it’s time to take it outside when preparing your Windsor house for sale. It may also be necessary to give your property a deep clean, which includes professionally cleaning carpets, drapes and furniture as well as scrubbing down the walls.
2. Pet smells:
Not too long ago there were buyers who were interested in a particular home. They saw it online and really loved it. The curb appeal was outstanding and the character of the older home was exactly what they were looking for. When the buyers walked in, they turned around and walked out. The house smelled like the owner’s pets. Worse yet? Their dog was home and immediately ran and jumped up on the buyers and this was no small animal! My buyers had seen, and smelled, enough. This was truly a shame, but many owners don’t realize that when selling a home, there should be no trace that an animal lives there. Why? Well one reason is that many buyers have pet allergies. Secondly, as much as sellers will find this hard to believe, not everyone loves animals. Another story: One client refused to look at a property because the online photos showed the large family dog on the couch. He simply didn’t want to look at a home where a large dog had lived.
So when selling a home with a pet, make sure that the home is throughly cleaned, including carpeting and furniture, before any showings. On days a buyer makes an appointment to walk through your home, find a pet day care or ask a neighbour to watch your animal.
3. Last night’s dinner:
While this is not often a reason to walk out of a home, buyers do frown when they enter and can smell last night’s fish dinner. And again, no amount of air freshener will do the trick. A good piece of advice that every seller should consider: Avoid making any strong smelling meals the evening before a showing. I know of one seller that forbid any kind of cooking in her kitchen that would leave an odor whether she had a planned showing or not. She didn’t want to take the chance if there was a last-minute call from an agent that her home wouldn’t make the best possible first impression. Needless to say, she served a lot of cereal and t.v. dinners, but she never had to worry that her home didn’t pass the smell test.
4. Over the top perfumed home:
Have you ever walked into a Windsor house for sale and become overwhelmed at the air freshener and scented candles? The smells of vanilla or cinnamon that are hugely popular for sellers when they list their homes is often just too much. Many real estate agents believe that when a home tries too hard to smell good, the sellers are masking a larger problem, like mold, bad plumbing and the like.
I have preached this subject several times on this website, but it can’t be discussed enough: Buyers want a home that smells clean. It doesn’t need anything else as long as it has a non offensive odor. Your home not only needs to look better than other Windsor houses for sale, but it also needs to smell better and be priced better.
If you are unsure how your house smells, ask your real estate agent to come over and give it a sniff test. Friends and neighbours are usually reluctant to be honest regarding this subject and the last thing they want to tell you is that your home smells like cat litter. But your agent is there to help you sell your property and will be honest if there seems to be a lingering odor that can turn off prospective buyers.