Odor Disclosure

Address the smelly problem before you list

Let’s say you’ve got a kitty named Stinky Poo. He’s cuddly, loveable, and an all around joy to behold. Or maybe it’s a dog.  Also named Stinky Poo.  He’s your best friend.  You dig him a lot.

We get it.

You can tell us anything you want about what a sweetie pie your pet is, and how much you love him. No matter what you say, we’re still going to tell you that when it comes time to sell your home, you have to assume your pet stinks.For one, most pets do.  At least a little.

Two, you probably can’t smell your pet because you’re used to his scent.

And because pet smells are a major turn-off to potential buyers, we advise you to bring in someone with a fresh sniffer.

You might get lucky when buyers come to the open house and don’t notice anything but the size of your bedroom closet.

Sure, you could just trust your own sense of smell, and you could clean the carpets for good measure.  Yeah, you might get lucky when buyers come to the open house and don’t notice anything but the size of your bedroom closet.

But you could also run into problems later when the buyers have settled in and the air freshener wears off.

Trust us, you don’t want to get hit with a nondisclosure lawsuit for the odor, which can and does happen.  Some states have more stringent disclosure laws than others, and sellers have been found responsible for nondisclosure as long as ten years after the sale!

Yes. Actually.

We’re not saying your Stinky Poo is as big a problem as that. The same can be said for cigarette smoke or other odors that could affect whether or not someone wants to buy your home. It might be tempting to ignore it, cover it, hope no one smells it, but we recommend dealing with it.

Hiring odor removal specialists might be a good idea. They’re trained to locate and destroy the source of a smell, and they can trap and seal the smells that can’t be destroyed.  If you hire a reputable company, they should guarantee their work.

But remember, if you do go that route, you’ll want to disclose that as well.

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Elizabeth Salaam
Along with her work as Senior Contributing Writer for Girl's Guide, Elizabeth Salaam writes for the San Diego Reader. Her work has also been published in Elle Magazine. | Most inspired by: Contradictions. | Favorite room in my home: The Master suite. The windows have views for days! | Best design idea I may never do: Adorn my enclosed toilet room with library book wallpaper and a chandelier. | Will never: Bungee jump. | Have always been: Rebellious. | Dying to: Live in a Paris flat with herringbone wood floors.
12 of 18 in Selling

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