Monday, May 22, 2017     Hilda Campbell      Home Renovations and Maintenance

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I have been in the uncomfortable position of having to tell a client that their home has an “unpleasant odour.” Showing houses that don’t smell the best is no picnic either. However, while difficult, it is something that can’t be ignored. A smelly house can have a huge impact on the sale price of a home.

Imagine walking up to the front door of a beautifully landscaped home. The front lawn is manicured, flowers have been planted, weeds pulled. The front door has been freshly painted and the windows have been cleaned. You approach the front door, your agent opens it and you enter – only to be smacked in the face by a rancid odour. It could be the smell of cigarette smoke, mould, cooking spices, the family pet, hockey equipment (sorry guys, it does smell). Often times many of these smelly culprits are absorbed by the home; the walls, the flooring, the furniture. This means getting rid of the odour can be very difficult if not impossible without actually replacing everything.

So what affect does this have on the home’s value? Studies show that a house with an odour issue can sell for as much as 30% less than a comparable home with no odour issues. I can attest to that based on my own personal experience.

The good news is having a smelly home is easily preventable. If you smoke, smoke outside. If you cook with spices that leave a lingering odour be sure to turn on the exhaust fan above the stove or keep the kitchen window open while cooking. Bathe your pets regularly. Keep sporting equipment in the garage or backyard shed.

Pleasing odours can be a problem as well. Go easy on the perfume/cologne and the air freshener. The scent of certain flowers such as lilies and hyacinths can be overwhelming too. I learned this one the hard way: I used to make it a point to include these flowers in any bouquet I gifted only to find out the recipients’ sinuses don’t react well to the scent (No more flowers for those people!).

It can be a challenge convincing homeowners their house smells. We get used to the smell and don’t notice it. Showing your house at its best includes making sure it smells good. Be mindful of unpleasant odours, keeping them to a minimum. You may not notice the smell, but prospective buyers sure will!

When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Burlington or Oakville area, or for general real estate advice, please contact me. I can help!

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