Odour issues: How to freshen up your home

2018-09-12 06:00
‘To prevent your mugs from smelling like a spice rack and your vests from smelling like the sock drawer, give all cupboards and drawers a thorough wipe down with dishwashing liquid and warm water before unpacking any of your things,’ says Goslett.PHOTO: Property 24

‘To prevent your mugs from smelling like a spice rack and your vests from smelling like the sock drawer, give all cupboards and drawers a thorough wipe down with dishwashing liquid and warm water before unpacking any of your things,’ says Goslett.PHOTO: Property 24

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EACH home, whether it is newly built or has been lived in for many years, will have its own distinctive smell. This is something estate agents deal with on a daily basis.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, Regional director and CEO of RE/Max of Southern Africa, who explains that when viewing a property, potential buyers are often very sensitive to the smell of the home, especially because the property is unlikely to smell anything like their own home.

“My advice to buyers is to remember that it takes time to make a property feel like their own. If there are any particularly unpleasant smells, keep in mind that most odours are removable unless the scent is coming from outside of the home,” he said.

“Admittedly, some odours are easier to vanquish than others. Based on the advice of some of our most experienced agents, RE/Max shares tips on how to make a house smell like home after you have moved in.”

THESE TIPS ARE:

A CABINET CLEAN-OUT

When a new owner steps in, a cabinet reshuffle is inevitable. To prevent your mugs from smelling like a spice rack and your vests from smelling like the sock drawer, give all cupboards and drawers a thorough wipe down with dishwashing liquid and warm water before unpacking any of your things. Bleach can be used on tough stains, and a quick wipe with some furniture polish can prevent future stains.

For lingering smells, leave a small dish of vanilla essence in the cupboard to draw out the odour. In clothing or laundry cabinets, scented soaps can also do the trick.

CARPET DIEM

Life is too short to live with a foul-smelling home. The scent of the previous owners will linger in the fibres of these carpets long after they have left. Many owners will agree to have their carpets professionally cleaned before the buyer moves in. If not, then it might be worth arranging this yourself.

There are thousands of DIY carpet cleaning hacks online for those who are brave enough to try it themselves, however, let it be noted that there is a thriving professional carpet cleaning business for a reason. For properties that once homed a combination of smokers, pets and sticky-fingered toddlers, you might be better off replacing the carpets. Similarly, like a sponge adjacent to liquid, the walls inside our homes slowly absorb the smells around it. Giving some rooms a fresh coat of paint will do wonders for removing odours.

SCENT TRANSFER STRETCH

After ridding the home of all scent trails left by the previous owner, you now have a blank slate with which to work. In the first few months of living in a new home, you might want to up your game in terms of the scented products you use. You need to make the home smell like you, which means that it needs to absorb the scents of your washing powders, shampoos, detergents, spices, etc. This does not happen overnight, so you may want to enlist the help of scented candles and air fresheners until the scent transfer is complete.

FINALLY

Making a new property feel like home is not always easy. Sellers should do the best they can to make their homes smell clean and inviting.

However, at the end of the day, buyers need to try to overlook any subtle unfamiliar smells and remember that given time, the new property will eventually start to smell like home,” said Goslett. — Property 24.

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