Walking into a home on the market, one of the first things a prospective buyer will notice is what they smell. While our sense of smell isn't as good as a dogs, people will smell the odor of dogs, cats or other pets. Even if they love animals, pet odor can turn off a buyer before the charms of the rest of the house can even be seen. Some experts advise moving your pets somewhere else while you have your home on the market, but that's not always a realistic solution.

So before you see a potential buyer crinkle their noses when they walk in your door, you'll need to address any lingering smells in the air.

Clean your home thoroughly. Focus heavily on odor traps like fabrics, upholstery and carpet. Professional ozone-based carpet cleaning can do miracles.

Cats? Make sure litter-boxes are scrupulously clean at all times.

Your pets aren't to blame here, but avoid strong cooking odors. You might love stinky cheese, but that smell won't be pleasing to strangers.

Avoid using air fresheners and heavily scented cleaning products, candles or incense. Some people can have an allergic reaction to them, and others will assume you're using them to cover up something bad.

Let your home air out naturally. When temperatures outside cooperate, open the windows for a while. The scent of the outdoors around your home will help ground it when people walk in the door.

It can be hard sometimes to notice an odor you live with, so ask a friend to walk through and do a sniff test. Better a friend than a prospective buyer!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

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