Does My Home Smell Like a Wet Dog

Recently one of our readers asked "what should an owner do to their property to help it sell faster?"

In a market like we find ourselves, it is pointless to try and make your home more valuable with expensive upgrades. Your real goal should be to get it sold, at a fair market-related price, in as short a time as possible.

Often your efforts to add value by redoing the kitchen or completely renovating the bathrooms, will bring you back about 60% of what you spend. To add insult to injury, during the period it takes you to complete these upgrades, you may lose potential buyers to other properties on the market.

However if your goal is to make your home more desirable, and ultimately sell it faster, then here are a few ways to accomplish this. First and foremost you need to make sure it is really, really clean - inside and out. Simple things like straightening up every room. This is a great opportunity to get rid of all the clutter in your life. Special attention must be paid to the bathrooms for any mildew. Also check the kitchen for greasy build up. If your home smells like a wet dog then a deodorizer in every room might be a good idea.

As far as painting - remember that this can work against you in certain cases. For example, if there is fresh paint only on the corners of the ceilings and the tops of the walls, a buyer might conclude that this is a cover up of recent roof leakage. I always recommend if you are going to paint a room do all of it and not just the ceiling.

Outside you must remove any unsightly rubble and keep the lawn freshly mowed. If you have a pool then make sure it is clean and running properly. Bear in mind that first impressions count. Spruce up the driveway and front entrance. Small things can make a big difference. For example a new doormat or a potted plant by the front door with some bright flowers in it. Just use a little imagination.

The whole point of making a house more sellable is to spend your money wisely. Do not go overboard trying to make your house perfect. Just focus on making it more attractive. Try to make your home the cleanest one the buyer will view that day - then watch it sell the fastest.