Nasty odours rank as one of the top factors in deterring a home sale. If you are trying to sell your home, strong smells from pets, tobacco and food scents will greatly reduce your selling opportunity and may even prompt low-ball offers from buyers. Because it’s natural for homeowners to adapt to scents around them, it’s recommended that you ask an outsider to identify any odours that may discourage prospective purchasers. Your realtor will likely inform you if an unpleasant odour exists.

Selling your home is a scenario where you only get one chance to make a good impression. If a prospective buyer walks into your home and is immediately turned off by a strong smell, you can bet they will assume it’s a permanent problem.

The first step to odour elimination is finding the source. Topical solutions and air fresheners are a temporary fix that won’t last long. For a long-term solution, it will be necessary to eliminate the source. Do not smoke inside a home that is listed for sale, stay on top of litter boxes and refrain from cooking foods that have strong odours.

Now you can focus on removing the smell permanently. Airing out the room can make a difference, but it’s not always enough. Strong oxidizing materials are most effective in neutralizing odour as they break down the bacteria. Areas may need to be treated multiple times to absorb and eliminate odours. These products can be purchased online, in pet stores and in specialty stores or applied by professionals.

In some cases, odours cannot be cleaned and items must be replaced. Removing carpets and cleaning under the surface may be necessary. In cases where long-time smokers have resided in the home and washing the walls is not enough, you will have to repaint the walls. This applies to homes with strong food-based odours as well. Odours and bacteria are also absorbed into furniture and drapery, so they may need to be professionally cleaned or replaced.