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Staging Your Home To Sell It

Updated on April 9, 2017
Fried fish might be your favourite but cooking it regularly over the years clings to the air, and will affect the price of your property.
Fried fish might be your favourite but cooking it regularly over the years clings to the air, and will affect the price of your property. | Source
Show day.  Place interesting art on the wall to give potential buyers creative ideas, about what they can do if they buy your home.
Show day. Place interesting art on the wall to give potential buyers creative ideas, about what they can do if they buy your home. | Source

Buy Homes in the Summer

Summer is the ideal time to buy a house for many reasons.

  • You have more time to drive around visiting the various homes for sales.
  • Property defects are more visible during the summer. You can see cracked outside walls and rusty gutters much better than when they are covered with snow.
  • The summer heat activates smells in the houses you are interested in.

Your Home is an Investment

Rich people hire investment bankers to babysit their investments with the hope that they will yield handsome dividends when they grow up.

Homeowners are also investors in a way because they hold an asset that is based on land, its location and its value, but very few people think about that. Buyers often look at the walls of the beautiful duplex house, single storey house, brownstone, apartment or mansion.

Whether the property is 10,750,000 British pound sterling or 230,000 Canadian dollars, how it smells might chip off some millions or thousands. It is therefore important that homeowners think about their homes as investments every time they boil or fry something.

This is not possible though because culture, religion, occupation and where we live determine what we put in the pot. People who live along the coast for example. They have access to the sea, so fish might be the staple diet.

Cooking Odour

It is time to sell your home, but what you cooked on a regular basis for the past ten years has left a certain odour potential buyers do not like.

They might be interested in putting an offer you want but that fishy smell repulses them. You spray the house with the strongest air freshener but it refuses to go away. Buyers will either buy your home for less or walk away.

It is not only fish. Cooking with heavy oil over a long period of time also clings to the air and the curtains/drapes.

Making potato chips, breakfast fry up, your favourite barbeque sauce, curry or fried chicken every day is a style of cooking that makes oil cling to every corner of the kitchen and the rest of the house.

Fish and cooking oil are just two of many examples. People you live with might not notice this odour but outsiders will. They know your favourite food and how you cook it from the house odour and your clothes.

It is no problem if they are family visitors, but you are in trouble if you are trying to sell your house.

Buyers Perception of Your Property

  • They will put in a lesser offer than what your property is worth. Your selling/asking price is based on an evaluation made by professionals after taking many things into consideration, including the location of your home and the going price of houses around it.

  • If you are asking for 1.5 million, buyers will easily offer 1.2 million, worse still a round million. They will tell you that they will spend money repainting the house to remove the black colour in the entertainment room. There are many excuses. Don’t give them another one by selling a house with a cooking smell that will be difficult to remove.

  • Buyers will complain about your pine kitchen. They don’t like it. They want to replace it with stainless steel cabinets.

  • Buyers want more for less. That’s the bottom line. You also did the same when you bought your current property.

Removing Cooking Odour

It is something you cannot do overnight when buyers are coming to view the house. It should be a way of life.

  • Alternate the food you cook. It might be difficult because we all have our favourite food, some of it is based on lifestyle, religion or culture. For example if cabbage is your favourite, cook it only three days a week, then cook some beans or chick peas. Anything to dilute the cabbage odour.

  • Cook outdoors during the summer. You can use a gas stove for fried fish, better still, put it on the grill.

  • Bake something once a week, bread, scones, cakes or biscuits to give the house a ‘home cooked’ smell. You don’t have to make the dough from scratch. Buy some from the supermarket.

  • Bring nature into the kitchen by having pot plants on the kitchen window sill.
  • Always wash dishes.
  • Making freshly squeezed orange juice should be a family tradition when oranges are in season. Get a bag and teach the kids some math. You cut an orange into halves and quarters. You use orange strips for food garnish. Such activity neutralizes the heavy smells created by your favourite food.

Educating Family Members

  • Your home today might be someone’s tomorrow. Kids might be too young to understand but it is worth a try, especially older kids who know how to fix their own food. They will fry up the house everyday if they see parents do it, but they also have their own teen food.

  • Make the kitchen a classroom. Tell them to bring home those free HOUSES FOR SALE magazines that are all over the mall and street corners. This information is online but turning pages brings families closer together.

  • Tell them to pick an area. They must check out the prices. Grab that opportunity and move in with the real estate information. Sellers think they will get 2.5 million because their house is well built and they took care of it for 20 years.

  • They will get less if it has a certain smell, a smell that is in the air vents, curtains and clothes in the cupboard. Tell your kids that what they cook affects the family’s biggest investment. It will not sink it now but they will remember later on. It is just amazing what kids remember. Truly amazing!

Pets and Home Odour

Pets also affect your home odour.

Some potential buyers might ask, “Do owners keep cats?” and start sneezing. Some owners do not take kindly to such comments because they feel that there is no relationship between their pets and a property that is priced right.

There is. It is the buyer’s state of mind to a house they will live in for a long time, whether it is two or 15 years.

  • The presence of pets at home will not pose a problem if the house is thoroughly cleaned regularly, the sofa professionally vacuumed once a month, the pet’s little quarters cleaned and aired once a week.

  • You also owe your pets cushions that are regularly cleaned.

  • The operating word is clean. Keep your home clean.


A man’s home is his castle, but it is a shack if nobody wants to buy it because of years of smoking. It is the same with cooking odour.


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