Homes – Tips to make sure you don’t get stuck with a stinker!

Homebuyers don't want houses that stink. Homes often smell fine when on the market but sometimes bad odours are masked. This recently happened to a family member. They purchased a beautiful century home in Kitchener on a bigger than average lot. They were thrilled with the purchase but once they took possession, they noticed a terrible cat urine odour. Having the carpets washed professionally or using over the counter products could not get the smell out of the upper floor or basement. Obviously this odour was being masked during showings and thus why they never smelled it. The most common odours masked in homes are pet, cigarette, cooking and mildew

Here are a few tips and things to look for before buying a home

Beware if…

• If there are more than 2 air fresheners there’s likely a reason

• If there are scented candles

• Pet stains on flooring and look under area rugs!

• If the home smells like freshly baked bread or apple pie (oldest trick in the book)

• If it is unusually cool in the home (air conditioner set really low)

• If there is more than one de-humidifier running

• If there’s pet food or toy’s but no litter box or food bowls

We recommend that in all cases that you always ask for a second viewing when the home is under controlled conditions. This will help un-mask any potential odours. Control conditions include:

• No air conditioner running (ask that it be turned off several hours before arriving)

• No de-humidifiers running (ask that it be turned off several hours before arriving)

• No open windows or doors

• No air fresheners ( have them removed well in advance of your visit)

Look for following cigarette smoke smell and indicators

• Smell curtains, carpets and upholstered chairs, sofas,

• Smell cloths closets for cigarette smoke

• Look for fresh paint but yellowish tint on smoke detectors, bathroom fans, lamp shades etc.

• Move furniture and wall paintings slightly and look for yellowish or brown (nicotine) stains around them

• If there's a computer tower, game console, or other major piece of electronics, look behind it if you can. Fans and anything that generates static electricity will attract cigarette smoke particles which leave a dark stain on the desk/carpet

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