Thursday, November 19, 2015

Realtor Trick: Simmer your way to a good-smelling home!

If you have ever been on the house-hunt, you too can attest there is nothing worse than walking into a property only to be accosted by a cheap, smelly air freshener (or in more extreme cases- 15. ).

Headache central.

SELLERS: please resist the temptation. Just don't do it! It offends the bulk of Buyers, makes them assume that you are attempting to cover something up, and often times results in a quick U-turn back out the front door.

Obviously, if there is an unpleasant stench that you are attempting to mask rather than remedy- STOP. As an agent, I 1st recommend getting to the root of the problem: deep clean, open windows, buy Fido a crate until you sell, clean the air ducts, move the litter box to the basement, paint, steam clean, bleach, replace the carpet, whatever it takes.

Once that is done, however, if trying to create a more pleasant smelling home- stick with warm, natural scents and methods as it will be pleasing to the nose of *most* of your Buyer Pool.

I am a huge fan of bowls of lemons, gorgeous fresh flowers, and oranges with cloves during the holidays. Most agents also recommend baking cinnamon buns or cookies on Open House Day or prior to scheduled appts to create a warm, homey environment for potential Buyers.

Wonderful? Yes. Realistic on a daily basis? No. 

I have a quick and easy solution that just takes a quick simmer on the stove and I have used for YEARS. In fact, I have implemented it in my own home this week?! After 3 weeks of small home projects, I want to ensure that my own house smells like a home rather than a construction zone when I host Thanksgiving.

FIRST: Gather warm, natural ingredients. My favs- orange peel, cloves, apple cider, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon sticks.  I usually boil in water.  If I have it on hand, I boil in apple cider or juice.  My friend swears by vanilla beans, equal parts vanilla extract and orange juice, water, and a few slices of orange... though you can truly use anything.

If you don't have Pumpkin Pie Spice on hand- improvise! Ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, extracts. No need to measure. A little goes a long way and you can't mess up... just throw it in.
NEXT: take a quick run to a local thrift store and purchase a small pan to use strictly for this purpose as it will get trashed, trust me. Avoid non-stick. I have used my little 1960's 5x4 shallow aluminum steamer pot exclusively for this purpose for 12+ years. It isn't pretty, but does the trick!

Fill the pan 3/4 full with water or cider. Throw in your spices and place on a low simmer...
Voila! Within 5-10 minutes, your home will smell like Grandma's kitchen. 15-20 minutes prior to showings or in the AM will make your Buyers feel right at home! NOTE: I have found that I can use the same spices for 2-3 days. I also recommend closely watching the liquid level, as should it gets too low and your spices BURN... yuck!