Selling your home can often mean selling a lifetime of memories. Even if you have only lived there a few years, many meaningful events will have taken place. Along with the good stuff, are there reminders you could do without when you open your house to potential buyers?
When pets are part of the family, your home may gather some distinctive odours.
It is best to treat any unfortunate incidents as soon as they occur but if odours are still lingering when it comes time to sell, you might need to minimise them.
Try these tips:
- Urine – Use paper towels, newspaper or anything absorbent to soak up as much liquid as possible. If it involves a rug, layer above and beneath. Use your weight if you have to. When you have soaked up as much as you can, rinse the area with cold water. Use a wet vac if you have one. Then follow up with a sprinkle of baking soda. Let dry for a half hour, then vacuum the soda up too.
- Try the wet vac/baking soda treatment on dried urine too, or a combination of citrus and hydrogen peroxide from a spray bottle. Don’t use a steam cleaner or using strong-smelling cleaners like ammonia or vinegar. Heat may make the stain permanent. Strong odours can make your pet want to re-mark the area!
- Vomit – Get as much up as you can, without rubbing it in. Try using a knife or spoon and paper towels. Spray with cold water, blot with paper towels and use an enzymatic cleaner.
- General pet smells – Because cats and dogs sweat through their fur, furniture and carpets can get smelly, even though you, as the per owner, might not find it offensive, or even notice.
- Regularly vacuum floors, sofas and other furniture to remove pet hair. You can also sprinkle with baking soda, let sit for a half hour and re-vacuum.
- If you are on the market and the furniture smell is noticeable, consider replacing with staging furniture!
- Here’s a tip for pet beds, bedding and toys. Add around 500g of baking soda to your regular detergent for machine-washable items. Fur gets smellier when wet so it’s best to shake out well or vacuum first. Dry in fresh air and sunshine if you can.
All your pet’s things – bowls, toys, collars and leads – will have a pet smell even if cleaned regularly, so you might choose to remove these before the potential buyers come through.