Get rid of odours in a new home

George Herald - Private Property - - Property News -

Ac­cord­ing to Adrian Goslett, re­gional di­rec­tor and CEO of RE/MAX of South­ern Africa, each home - whether it's newly built or has been lived in for many years - will have its own dis­tinc­tive smell.

This is some­thing real es­tate agents deal with on a daily ba­sis. "When view­ing a prop­erty, po­ten­tial buy­ers are of­ten very sen­si­tive to the smell of the home, es­pe­cially be­cause the prop­erty is un­likely to smell any­thing like their own home.

My ad­vice to buy­ers is to re­mem­ber that it takes time to make a prop­erty feel like their own.

If there are any par­tic­u­larly un­pleas­ant smells, keep in mind that most odours are re­mov­able un­less the scent is com­ing from out­side of the home," says Goslett. Ad­mit­tedly, some odours are eas­ier to van­quish than oth­ers. Based on the ad­vice of some of their most ex­pe­ri­enced agents, he shares RE/MAX'S tips on how to make a house smell like home af­ter you've moved in:


When a new owner steps in, a cab­i­net reshuf­fle is in­evitable. To pre­vent your mugs from smelling like a spice rack and your vests from smelling like the sock drawer, give all cup­boards and draw­ers a thor­ough wipe down with dish­wash­ing liq­uid and warm wa­ter be­fore un­pack­ing any of your things. Bleach can be used on tough stains, and a quick wipe with some fur­ni­ture pol­ish can pre­vent fu­ture stains. For lin­ger­ing smells, leave a small dish of vanilla essence in the cup­board to draw out the odour. In cloth­ing or laun­dry cab­i­nets, scented soaps can also do the trick.


Life is too short to live with a foulsmelling home. The scent of the pre­vi­ous own­ers will linger in the fi­bres of the car­pets long af­ter they've left. Many own­ers will agree to have their car­pets pro­fes­sion­ally cleaned be­fore the buyer moves in.

If not, it might be worth ar­rang­ing this your­self.

There are thou­sands of DIY car­pet clean­ing hacks on­line for those who are brave enough to try this them­selves, but let it be noted that there is a thriv­ing pro­fes­sional car­pet clean­ing busi­ness for a rea­son. For prop­er­ties that once homed the com­bi­na­tion of smok­ers, pets and sticky-fin­gered tod­dlers, you might be bet­ter off re­plac­ing the car­pet. Sim­i­larly, like a sponge ad­ja­cent to liq­uid, the walls in­side our homes slowly ab­sorb the smells around it. Giv­ing some of rooms a fresh coat of paint will do won­ders for rem­e­dy­ing odours.

SCENT TRANS­FER STRETCH Af­ter rid­ding the home of all scent trails left by the pre­vi­ous owner, you now have a blank slate with which to work. In the first few months of liv­ing in a new home, you might want to up your game in terms of the scented prod­ucts you use.

You need to make the home smell like you, which means that it needs to ab­sorb the scents of your wash­ing pow­ders, sham­poos, de­ter­gents, spices, etc. This does not hap­pen overnight, so you may want to en­list the help of scented can­dles and air fresh­en­ers un­til the scent trans­fer is com­plete.

"Mak­ing a new prop­erty feel like home is not al­ways easy. Sell­ers should do the best they can to make their homes smell clean and invit­ing. But, at the end of the day, buy­ers need to try and over­look any sub­tle un­fa­mil­iar smells and re­mem­ber that given time, the new prop­erty will even­tu­ally start to smell like home," con­cludes Goslett.

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