What grosses you out when you view a property that’s for sale?

Is it personal-care items? A weird smell in a listing? If it bothers you, it’s surely going to bother potential buyers.

How can you diplomatically advise your new listing clients on things that will turn off buyers? Of course, my first piece of advice is to have ME perform a home staging consultation! I want you to be well armed, however, and so here’s some free advice on how you can help your sellers create an attractive listing:
  1. Give every room of your new listing the sniff test. Odors come from somewhere specific, whether it’s cooking smells, pet odors, mothballs, etc. Have sellers remove or clean whatever creates the smell.
  2. With cooking odors, have sellers deep clean the kitchen, including thoroughly cleaning the vent hood and fan unit. That’s where the greasy smells build up. Tell your sellers to avoid cooking with strong spices while the house is on the market.
  3. Pets: Dog and/or cat owners should have all upholstered furniture and carpets professionally cleaned. Cat owners need to scoop litter boxes twice a day and change the litter every few days.
  4. Bathroom smells: If the smells are musty or damp, have sellers deep clean the bathrooms and make sure the vent fan has enough pull to draw out the damp air after baths and showers. If it’s a toilet issue, have the unit professionally cleaned, add a cleaning tablet to the tank, and use Ozium™ air spray (available online) twice per day.
  5. Mothballs and cedar chip smells in clothes closets can be overpowering. Have sellers remove the offending material, keep the door open for a few days, spray Ozium™ in the closet twice a day, and add a large, open pan of cat litter or untreated charcoal briquets (no fire accelerant added) when the listing isn’t being shown. Both cat litter and charcoal absorb odors.


  6. Messy bathrooms: No one wants to see sellers’ personal hygiene items! Hide toothbrushes/toothpaste, body cleansers, shampoos/conditioners, face and body razors, face cloths, etc.
  7. Remove fabric toilet seat covers and all rugs from bathroom floors and hide plungers, toilet scrubbers and wastepaper baskets.
  8. Make sure light switches and the areas around door handles are scrupulously clean.
  9. Have sellers keep sliding doors and windows free from dog saliva and children’s handprints.
  10. Refrigerators should be cleaned out weekly. All food in fridges and pantries should be sealed tightly, and strong spices thrown away.
Cluttered and messy kitchen before home staging

How people live and cook in their kitchens has a lot to do with house smells. Cleaning out refrigerators and spice cabinets and deep cleaning sinks/disposals, stoves and ovens–and especially stove vents and fans–will freshen kitchen spaces.


I hope these suggestions are helpful. You might even want to retype these as a helpful flyer to leave with your new listing clients.

When it comes to odors and the “ick factor,” StagingCraft has seen (and smelled!) it all. We are here to help you and your sellers prepare their houses to sell FAST and for top dollar! Contact us, today!