At the Volsch Team we have dealt with many obstacles and come up with cost-effective solutions when helping our clients sell their real estate. One of the most common and difficult hurdles our sellers have faced when preparing their house for sale is removing foul odors. This problem is especially common in some of the probate properties that I have helped to sell. Probate real estate has often been lived in by the decedent for many years, which can cause ambient odors to accumulate over time. I would like to share with you some tips on this topic so that homebuyers are not distracted from the potential of your probate real estate and consequently you as the Executor or Administrator can sell the property quickly and for the highest price possible.
If there are a great deal of personal belongings in the house, it is a good idea to remove all but the essential items. Old linens and drapery tend to trap smells, as do cloth-based furnishings so, when possible, remove them. Carpets are notorious for catching odors and should be cleaned before showings take place. This step alone can decrease the presence of ambient odors and prevent homebuyers from turning away. With the additional benefit of airing out the house, you may be able to diminish odors to a manageable level, which will substantially improve the likelihood of selling the probate property. One of the ways that many agents recently have removed odors is with ozone generators. They can be purchased or rented and may be worth a try.
Another trick is the use of aromatherapy. It is a great way to add a pleasant scent to any house. Aromatherapy can be as simple as placing a plug-in scent diffuser or oil diffuser in the main room of the probate property. Diffusers disperse a continuous pleasant scent throughout the house. One word of caution: some scents can be very pungent and should be kept to a minimum. Also note that brand new air fresheners tend to be very strong so use them sparingly and at the lowest dispersion setting. It is important to keep a consistent scent throughout the house, as too many conflicting smells can, at best, be distracting or, at worst, be nauseating to potential buyers. If you would like to keep the smells to a minimum, you can also try using less constant forms of aromatherapy for your probate property.
Have you ever noticed that when you enter into a craft store it always smells like Christmas? This is because these companies have learned that using ambient scents can actually increase product sales! The same can be true for selling a house, which is why some agents suggest that you buy a pre-made frozen apple pie or cookies and bake just before showings. This can be a little extreme for a probate property, especially if it is vacant, but there is no harm in using simmering potpourri to help. Simmering potpourri is simple: you place whole spices such as cinnamon, ground pumpkin pie spice, citrus peel, apple juice, and water into a crock pot to simmer throughout the day. This allows the scent to permeate throughout the house slowly.
Smell is only one part of the puzzle that is selling a probate property, so don’t let scent overshadow any other important tasks. Remember that first impressions are key when selling a house, so be sure that the probate property is thoroughly cleaned and ready for visitors. Prepare the house as you would for guests and you are sure to make a great first impression!
You can feel comfortable that we at the Volsch Team are here to help prepare the probate real estate for a quick and successful sale. For more help selling your probate property give me, Charlotte Volsch, a call at 760-912-8905.