Realty Executives

How to Remove Odors From Your House

by Susan Christy 06/16/2019

One of the quickest ways to lose a sale is to ignore odors in your home. Of course, you don't always smell them, so it's best if you have someone else come in with, ahem, a fresh nose, to point out issues. But, what if you’re the one that bought the house … you assumed the odors would leave with the sellers, but on they linger, long after you’ve moved in.

First things first

Start by removing the cause of smells. Of course, if it’s your spouse, that might not work, but old furniture, pet beds, trash cans and the like should go. Some smells are part of you or your family’s lifestyle. These include certain foods and spices, pet odors and smoke.

If you're a smoker, know that your home smells like stale nicotine, so unless you're ready to give up smoking to sell your home, you might need to move out first.

When you’re ready to get rid of the odors, try these methods:

  • Pet odor—long-term pet owners can’t always smell their furry friends, but as long as there is pet hair, a litterbox, or pet urine and feces left over from puppy training, there are odors. Vacuum up as much hair as possible. You may have to vacuum in the ductwork too since pet hair tends to get sucked up into the HVAC system. Use a baking-soda based cleaner on the carpets and any upholstery in the house.
  • Nicotine and smoke—long-term smoking can leave stains on the walls, so first, consider washing those walls. You'll need a heavy-duty cleaner, such as trisodium phosphate or an organic cleaner to clean the walls, woodwork and cabinet faces.
  • If odor persists, you may need to have a professional carpet cleaner that specializes in odor removal come in. Or, consider removing the carpet if it is older and needs replacing anyway.
  • Dry-clean upholstery and drapes. Wash windows and blinds too.
  • Clean the ducts yourself or hire a service to do it for you. Otherwise, you risk bringing back odors when the season changes and you go from heat to air conditioning or vice versa.

Use some tried and true remedies:

- vinegar (white for windows and fixtures)

- apple cider for smells in the drain or garbage disposal

- a cut up lemon to run through the disposal

- baking soda for the refrigerator and near where smells originate

- coffee grounds in bowls around the living areas to absorb smells

- or use commercial odor neutralizers in a neutral fragrance.

If you’re selling your home, ask your agent to give you an honest assessment of how your home’s odors might affect a sale.

About the Author
Author

Susan Christy

Hello, and thank you for visiting!

When it comes to real estate experience, few compare to Susan Christy. As a full-time Realtor for over 30 years, Susan has been successfully selling and finding homes for her clients since 1987, and her in-depth knowledge of the real estate process is hard to match. There are few challenges Susan hasn’t experienced and successfully resolved. She has not only the expertise to seamlessly close a real estate transaction, but the personal skills to instill a comfortable confidence, putting her clients at ease. She carefully listens, puts a plan in place, and follows through to the close of escrow and beyond. Susan is the real estate professional with the tact and skill to negotiate the highest return for her sellers and best possible price for her buyers: the true professional you want on your side.  

Susan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Education from Arizona State University and taught special education for four years prior to beginning her real estate career in 1987. She was raised in the Arcadia area of East Phoenix, where she has also raised her two daughters. Susan has been affiliated with Realty Executives for over 20 years, among the most highly respected real estate brokerages in Arizona, and has garnered many honors for superior sales performance, including the Phoenix Association of Realtors President’s Roundtable, Realty Executives 100% Club and Executive Club awards and the Realtor.com Online Marketing Award of Excellence. In addition, her superior performance has earned her membership in the Top Agent Network (TAN), as well as the CLHMS (Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist) and National Association of Realtors BPOR (Broker Price Opinion Resource) designations. She maintains active membership in the Luxury Home Tour Inc. of Arizona and the Arcadia Camelback Tour.  

Specializing in Phoenix, Arcadia, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley, but experienced and able to assist with real estate needs in nearly all areas of the Valley, her goal is to provide superior service second to none. Her clients can expect expert representation, communication, and negotiation skills from contract to close, intensive attention to detail throughout all phases of the real estate transaction, and above all, integrity and professionalism. She is: Client Focused. Results Driven. Please feel free to contact Susan at any time to discuss how she can best assist you with your real estate needs.