Lingering pet odors can kill a home sale, especially when they originate from urine. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy for agents to broach these sensitive subjects with sellers who may have gone “nose blind.” To eliminate foul smells that may offend prospective buyers, consider the following.
Confronting the Pet Odor Problem
Because humans have a highly adaptable sense of smell, it’s quite common for homeowners to become less sensitive to pet odors. Many times, real estate agents are confronted with the unenviable task of sitting clients down to tell them their properties harbor unpleasant odors. Once they get past these awkward conversations, it becomes time for agents to address the problem. If the odors stem from localized areas, the following methods can be a big help.
- Baking soda: Place an open container of baking soda in the offending area.
- Coffee grounds: Fill a shallow bowl with coffee grounds and place it around your house to help absorb smells.
- White vinegar: You can neutralize foul pet odors by cleaning the affected area using white vinegar.
- Vacuum: Sprinkle baking soda on carpets to neutralize odors before vacuuming
- Hire a pro: A professional carpet cleaning service may be needed to eliminate the most stubborn pet odors.
Wait a Few Days to Assess your Efforts
Quite often, homes smell considerably better after using the above techniques. Before you get too excited, however, be sure to wait a day or two before showing the property. Depending on the source of the smell, you may begin noticing a recurrence 24 to 48 hours after treatment. At this point, you can either try again or move on to more drastic methods.
When Nothing Else Works
If the pet odors return a day or two after your best efforts, they are likely owed to urine in the carpet pads. In this case, you will probably have no choice but to replace the carpet. That said, you might consider renting an ozone machine, which destroys the molecules that cause unpleasant smells. While sometimes effective, these machines aren’t miracle workers. In the end, you may have no choice but to replace what can’t be cleaned.
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