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Smells in home could lure, deter potential buyers

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Houston real estate market has seen record numbers lately when it comes to sales. But there are some homes that could stay on the market longer if there's something fishy about it.

We're talking about the way your home smells when you put it on the market. Experts tell us certain scents, could make or break the sale of your home.

"Not only when you're preparing your house to sell do you need it to appear visually, but you also need to consider your nose," Realtor Jennifer Starns said.

Starns says specific smells can't actually help sell a home.

"I recommend if you have some time to bake some home baked cookies, that creates a nice fresh atmosphere," she said.

Starns says that homemade cookie smell resonates well with potential buyers, often triggering fond childhood memories. If you don't have time to bake, simple sprays or plug ins are a good option.

But which ones are right for your home?

"Fresh and clean, a rain scent, even an apple cinnamon," Starns said.

Starns tells us to be careful of which fragrances you use. Some of the stronger ones can be a turnoff.

"Some odors can be extremely offensive, give people headaches. So I try to shy away from anything too strong," she said.

Now if there are smells you're trying to get rid of, you have options.

"When you're going to put your house on the market, the first thing I tell my clients are, you need to get the carpet cleaned," Starns said.

Realtor Cindy Lehenbauer recommends a professional carpet cleaning, especially if you smoke in the home or have pets. There's one more thing to consider is if your home is vacant and been on the market for a while.

"Somebody needs to go in and maintain the house. That musty smell, it's an awful smell, and I think the longer a house sits empty, the worse it is," Lehenbauer said.

Now experts tells us don't over do it when it comes to plug-ins. They say one or two tops in your home, because you don't want the smell to be too overwhelming. Also, if you're in the cooking mood, a pot roast in the crock pot is another inviting smell that could make your house more appealing.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13

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