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  • Writer's pictureDoreen Rivell

A Stress Free Holiday?

Updated: Jan 30, 2020

Having your home on the market during the holidays can add to the stress. Your kitchen could be in the middle of a marathon baking event when your realtor calls with a transferee who is only in town today. A counter covered in flour may not show off your kitchen in it's best light, but the aroma from those fresh baked cookies could seal the deal.


A home decorated for the holidays can add a level of warmth and appeal. Tasteful and subdued decorating is the idea here. If your decorations tend to be "over the top," save that creativity for your new place. If your agent is hosting an open house, turn on all of the lighted decorations, both inside and outside, and pop something in the oven. If you aren't inclined to bake from scratch, something frozen will do. Just be sure that it finishes before the open house starts.

The focus today is on how your home stimulates the fifth sense, scent. That scent can be the wonderful aroma of an apple pie in the oven, antiseptic from a deep cleaning, or even unpleasant. Odors from cigarette smoke or pets can be the worst offenders here. The sense of smell triggers an emotional response linked to memories. We want that emotional response because a prospective buyer will feel more connected to your home. It just needs to be a positive feeling. Fresh baked goods in the oven and fresh flowers on the dining room table are the scents that will trigger positive memories.

So how do you gauge the scents in your home? If you have pets, or live with a smoker (even one who only smokes outside), you will need outside help. Nose blindness is a real thing, not just a marketing tool. Pet odors can permeate the entire house if your puppy has free run of the place, but are probably the worst where Fido sleeps. Daily vacuuming (just until the house sells!) is your first line of defense. Develop a cleaning regime that will keep these odors at bay.

For the cat lovers amongst us, a clean litter box is mandatory. While the litter box is probably in a confined space, odors in that room are a problem, especially if the litter box is in a laundry room or mud room right off of the kitchen. Clean the litter box multiple times a day. Prospective buyers will appreciate it, and so will your cat.There are lots of websites offering tips for dealing with pet odors. Check out several and see what works best for you.

Cigarette smoke is another big offender, and can be worse than the pet odors. Clothes absorb the odor and prospective buyers will get a whiff of stale smoke every time they open a closet. You will need to tackle this large project in stages. While you are in the middle of cleaning make sure all smoking moves outdoors, and stays there until you hand over the keys to the new owner.


A fresh and inviting aroma is one more way to make your place memorable when prospective buyers walk through the door. Take the time and make the effort - it will put you ahead of the competition. And #RynoMarketing is here to help you every step of the way.

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