GET RID OF RELIGIOUS ITEMS While it’s certainly fine to be proud of your religious beliefs, affiliations, and convictions, not all home buyers will appreciate religious items on display. Some buyers might not be religious at all, while others may carry completely different convictions from yours, and might find such displays offensive. Buyers who see these types of displays may also make inferences about the types of neighbors you have. GET RID OF ODORS Our sense of smell can immediately conjure up both good and bad memories. While agents have used the lure of a freshly baked apple pie to entice home buyers’ olfactory recall, bad smells can have a similarly off- putting effect. What’s worse is that homeowners can become acclimated to the scent of a house, leaving them “nose blind” to potential smells. For instance, cigar and cigarette smokers typically view the smell of smoke in a home as familiar, whereas a nonsmoker might be put off by the same house. The same goes for mold smells, especially in basements, where it can seem like the house could be at risk for flooding from sewers or catastrophes (hurricanes, in proximity to flood plains, etc.). However, trying to mask these odors with a bottle of Febreze and air fresheners can work against you, as it seems to potential home buyers (rightfully so) that you’re only trying to cover up odors. Homeowners should actively work on eliminating the common sources of the smell, including pet odors (see below), mold, cooking odors, spilled chemicals, and so forth. Have an agent or someone unfamiliar to your home give you an honest analysis of where particular odors might be lingering. You might be immune to them. While it might be somewhat embarrassing to realize that your bathroom smells less than pleasant, it can be even worse to have your home unsold on the market because you didn’t want to replace the carpeting.
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