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Need some help - house for sale

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
OK, I have been rather calm about this until now as I thought I had it under control. But I just had an open house for realtors at my house this morning and apparently, even after 6 days of intense cleaning and deodorizing, some of the realtors commented to my realtor that they thought the pet smell would turn off buyers.

Here is what I have done so far, and I am looking for further things to do to combat the smell. Keep in mind that I have also told my realtor that I DO have animals and the house will never smell perfect.

Floor and upholstery cleaning - I have all laminate so there is no carpet for smell to get into. I shampooed my couches and the cat climber/gym. I vacuumed through and cleaned the floors with a micro-fibre mop and lysol.

Sprayed Nature's Miracle odor neutralizer on every surface that I can find that may smell.

Changed my litter box completely and threw out the old ones. The new one is monstrous and picked out multiple times daily.

Put the dog blankets through the wash with odor neutralizing cleaner and put them in the basement for the showing.

Burned candles for hours and blew them out just before the showing.

Had the windows all open for the hours I was cleaning (and it's darn cold out there) and kept the ceiling fan on.

Washed the basement floor with bleach and rinsed it before spraying the entire floor with Nature's Miracle odor neutralizer.

Sprayed every fabric surface with Febreze as well as used the aerosol.

Brought my dogs with me to work, and put the cats into dog kennels with food water and litter.

OK - I understand that I have animals and the house will smell like it. I don't live in filth or insane odor. I cannot even smell anything myself, but I guess it's like cigarette smoke, I can smell that anywhere because I don't smoke. What else can I try? My realtor understands that I have been scrubbing for days and the only thing she has offered is a product from the vet's called Nature Mate or something?

Anyone have any tips?
post #2 of 12
With all that you have described I do not know how anyone could say there is a "odor".

Do you or could you invite some of those realtors back or press them on if it was a certain room??

I would just to be safe wash your baseboards and lower parts of your doors?? Do you have accesss or buy one of those black lights that are supposed to show up urine spots??

If the litter boxes are in the basement-run a dehumidifier. When my sis comes to visit she says she can smell my litter boxes in the basement.

How about washing the bedding on the beds??
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
I had to replace the bedding recently as my cats used the bed as a litter box for a week while I was gone. It's been replaced down to the mattress pad, and they haven't had any further issues (they were upset about a new petsitter in the house).

Thanks for your first comment though, I feel like throwing something! I have almost busted myself cleaning.

I just had a thought though. The basement floor is concrete and I did mop it with a bleach solution, but I only mopped the area around the litter box. It's probably seeped into the other areas, so I am going to do another wet mopping downstairs.
post #4 of 12
If you can buy a vinyl tablecloth or (perhaps at fabric store and duct tape it partway up the wall and on the floor and place litter boxes on it-much easier to clean and won't absorb liquids.
post #5 of 12
Is it stronger in the basement? Get a friend in there to pinpoint where it appears to be most prevalent. then use natural deodorants, not fabreeze, or anything else that leaves a sickening residue that alerts everyone you are trying to cover something. If you think the culprit is the basement floor, I would soak it with pet enzyme solution, or baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mix with a few drops or dish liquid. this is great for removing odors, and it doesn't leave fragrance stench behind.

Another great product is called Orangesense, which is a natural air deoderizer.

I would not be able to set foot in your house with all the chemicals you have used with cleaning.
You can wash the baseboard and everything with the peroxide and baking soda solution. It is amazing. Another area that gets overlooked is the bottoms of doors and corners where cats rub against and leave their dander.
post #6 of 12
I didnt read the responses, but if all else fails, get some febreze. Get some plug ins and the spray and spray everything. They're making new febreze now that is for air as well as surfaces (all in the same bottle) and the plug ins can be turned up to high. Good luck
post #7 of 12
I've never noticed pet smells in houses where the people have pets (responsible owners that clean, of course). Yet, and I'm facing this problem with my house, perfume-y cleaners, potpourri, perfumes, plug-in, and just 'people' smell in general has been a big ordeal to get rid of. It's so permeated into a few shelves that I might just have to replace them.
So go easy on what you use. If you get someone who is sensitive to scents or has asthma you'll run them out of there quicker with scented garbage then if you left a dirty litter box in the middle of the floor.

But then, smokers usually can't smell cigarette smoke in other people's houses - so maybe it's similar? I'm used to pets, so that smell isn't odd'/bad to me. Maybe some pet owners will look at the house and not notice it?
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. I borrowed a friend's black light flashlight and will be scouring walls and floors tonight. Yesterday I bought some enzyme odor neutralizer and sprayed the couches down. I mopped the basement floor with more water than I used before and it seemed to help. I'll bring someone with a sensitive sniffer in as I cannot smell cats/dogs or any sort of animal scent in my house. I really think it's something that realtors really focus on, and as someone suggested, theose realtors won't bother pointing out my house to potential buyers. I can only do the best I can - I'm not expecting a miracle. My house is not disgusting to the average person (=
post #9 of 12
You could try setting some small bowls of vanilla extract thru-out the house. I have a small electric potpourri pot that I use a lot; a spicy/cinnamon potpourri really covers any other odors.
I've always heard that baking something before your open house (bread, an apple pie, cookies) gives a home that "homey" smell.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sohni View Post
OK, I have been rather calm about this until now as I thought I had it under control. But I just had an open house for realtors at my house this morning and apparently, even after 6 days of intense cleaning and deodorizing, some of the realtors commented to my realtor that they thought the pet smell would turn off buyers.

Here is what I have done so far, and I am looking for further things to do to combat the smell. Keep in mind that I have also told my realtor that I DO have animals and the house will never smell perfect.

Floor and upholstery cleaning - I have all laminate so there is no carpet for smell to get into. I shampooed my couches and the cat climber/gym. I vacuumed through and cleaned the floors with a micro-fibre mop and lysol.

Sprayed Nature's Miracle odor neutralizer on every surface that I can find that may smell.

Changed my litter box completely and threw out the old ones. The new one is monstrous and picked out multiple times daily.

Put the dog blankets through the wash with odor neutralizing cleaner and put them in the basement for the showing.

Burned candles for hours and blew them out just before the showing.

Had the windows all open for the hours I was cleaning (and it's darn cold out there) and kept the ceiling fan on.

Washed the basement floor with bleach and rinsed it before spraying the entire floor with Nature's Miracle odor neutralizer.

Sprayed every fabric surface with Febreze as well as used the aerosol.

Brought my dogs with me to work, and put the cats into dog kennels with food water and litter.

OK - I understand that I have animals and the house will smell like it. I don't live in filth or insane odor. I cannot even smell anything myself, but I guess it's like cigarette smoke, I can smell that anywhere because I don't smoke. What else can I try? My realtor understands that I have been scrubbing for days and the only thing she has offered is a product from the vet's called Nature Mate or something?

Anyone have any tips?
I suppose the housing market is as bad in BC as it is here in TX. We had our house up for sale for six months with 76 showings before we sold it. First of all, I do like cigars. And I did smoke inside the house. Of course when I came into the house, I could not smell anything annoying. But one of the very first showings the client commented they would buy the house save for the cigar smoke. So I went through all the steps you mentioned and thought my house to be totally fumigated. Nobody actually ever mentioned the pet odor and again, I could obviously never smell any thing foul. I take great pride in fact that my animals have a perfectly clean smelling liter box at all times. But my realtor mentioned that she could smell the cats. Also my long haired cat - there was cat hair everywhere I could not even see that bothered people.

This is a very bad time to be selling a house. But here is a note of encouragement: The person that I sold my house to was a cigar smoking person that had cats! If you can just show your house enough, you will find people just like you that will love your home. Just keep the showings.
post #11 of 12
you have done so much already to get things smelling nicer but I know whow it can be un-noticeable to you. I don't notice any smells in my house but when I go to a freinds that has pets it's a stightly different smell.
Maybe you can get a friend to come over that hasn't been there in a while and ask them to tell you if it still smells as bad as the realtors are saying.
I have used this product and it seems to work very well http://www.febreze.com/en_CA/aireffects_poe.do
Also having a few concealed bozes of baking soda in stratigic "pet places" like where the litter box normally is can eat up some of the smells that you might not normally notice.
post #12 of 12
Oh my goodness I don't know how you could have pet odor either! My god! All that cleaning you did should make your house smell like cleaner rather than anything else. You didn't use any bleach did you? I noticed that if you clean up dog urine, I know not to use it on cat urine, but it makes your house smell like a kennel.

I think your realtor is crazy! Although, I have seen on the TV shows for selling houses that you should take out all evidence that you even have animals. Which it sounds like you did that for the most part, but is there anyone who can babysit them on the days your house is shown?
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