Mould, dogs and cats, if it smells it won’t sell

The Weekend Post - Real Estate - - Real Estate -

IT’S time to talk un­pleas­ant odours in the house.

This could be within your own home, your friend’s or fam­ily’s house, or maybe a home you have in­spected on a re­cent prop­erty search.

Maybe you haven’t no­ticed and oth­ers are too po­lite to men­tion it.

It is a brave, some would say fool­hardy real es­tate agent who will dare men­tion this to an un­sus­pect­ing client and risk the list­ing.

Dur­ing my years in the real es­tate in­dus­try I did dare on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions, re­sult­ing in a range of re­ac­tions, from ap­pre­cia­tive to the ex­act op­po­site.

If you con­sider this stinky sub­ject in re­la­tion to peo­ple, it can be even more of a chal­lenge.

Do you men­tion it or not and, If you do, what next?

Sim­ply hand­ing over a can of de­odor­ant may not be the an­swer.

I wit­nessed this in ac­tion years ago when my then man­ager said noth­ing, but handed the de­odor­ant to my guilty male col­league. Let’s just say the out­come was in­ter­est­ing.

The topic of odour in a home or on a body makes for a tough dis­cus­sion.

Dog own­ers, cat own­ers, smok­ers and par­ents of teenagers are all po­ten­tially af­fected; or those in homes with drainage is­sues, damp, mould or in­suf­fi­cient ven­ti­la­tion.

Even ne­glect­ing to laun­der bed­ding reg­u­larly can make a dif­fer­ence, while car­pets, drapes and other house­hold fab­rics can all har­bour nasty niffs.

It is your home, so if it smells like a footy player’s socks and you’re sell­ing, be­ware, or buy­ers will re­call your home for all the wrong rea­sons. If you are about to list, here are a few tips to keep your home fresh. • Pet own­ers: Con­sider re­strict­ing the an­i­mal’s ac­cess to cer­tain ar­eas of the home.

Pro­fes­sion­ally clean all fab­ric chairs, so­fas and car­pets and pro­tect th­ese with cov­ers that can be re­moved for in­spec­tions.

Lit­ter trays are never to be seen or smelled. And don’t for­get the mes­sages left around the yard.

Also, ca­nines love a pane of glass to lick, sniff or put their paws on, so glass at this level will need on­go­ing clean­ing. • Smok­ers: Don’t just think stand­ing out­side the slid­ers is enough.

Even out­side close to the home the smell will be de­tected and the smell of stale smoke is hated by buy­ers. • Bed­rooms must be ven­ti­lated and bed­ding must be freshly laun­dered reg­u­larly, or be­fore each in­spec­tion, plus rugs or car­pets should be pro­fes­sion­ally cleaned.

Some teenagers’ rooms can add fur­ther chal­lenges to the bed­room dilemma. I sug­gest fi­nan­cial bribery to en­cour­age clean­li­ness dur­ing the sale process. • Waste drainage is­sues and any mould or damp should have been solved.

How­ever, some­times a leak, although re­paired, can al­low mois­ture to get trapped and be­come fur­ther mould. Ob­tain pro­fes­sional ad­vice if an is­sue per­sists. • Clean, fresh toi­lets, sparkling van­i­ties and kitchen bench­tops, along with shiny sinks, all en­sure your home re­mains odour-free.

Un­less the weather is too cool, al­ways try to keep fresh air cir­cu­lat­ing.

Now the nasty niffs are at bay, how about in­tro­duc­ing pleas­ant scents to en­hance the home? While we all agree on what stinks, the de­bate about what smells per­fect is far more com­plex. • Fresh laun­dered bath­room tow­els and bed­ding can gen­er­ate a very pleas­ant, clean scent. • Fresh flow­ers are an ad­van­tage, both vis­ually and in the ol­fac­tory sense.

Un­for­tu­nately, flow­ers that last longer af­ter be­ing cut tend to be the ones with less fra­grance. Florists can give you ad­vice on which types to use. Some peo­ple are adding fresh herbs to en­hance scents. • Scented can­dles can pro­vide a lovely am­bi­ent fra­grance, but se­lect wisely. Some hand­made soaps can work well in your bath­room, too.

So be­fore list­ing, take a good deep breath and, if you’re re­ally brave, get more than one opin­ion.

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