How to get rid of odorsYikes! This is not an uncommon challenge Realtors have to manage through once they get a new listing. The home looks great, the seller has agreed to the right price and the location could not be better. But, wait it’s hard to get past that awful stinky odor.

Nasty odors can come from pets, lack of ventilation, people’s habits or old furniture. As home stagers, we are often asked how to neutralize unpleasant odors that can potentially distract from a home’s marketing appeal.

Don’t underestimate the power of a bad scent. A study from the University of Pennsylvania has shown that a human’s sense of smell is closely linked to parts of the brain that process emotion and memory. Unpleasant and bad smells actually send pain signals to the brain to warn us of possible danger.

Follow these simple odor removing ideas to best prepare your listing. Instead of nasty odors, smell the sweet scent of success from a home being SOLD!

Always make sure the entire home has been deep cleaned with antibacterial agents and carpets have been professionally treated for soil and odors.

Beyond that course of action, try these household odor removal tips. The following are methods to help neutralize an odor. Depending on the source and location, one or more may be necessary to achieve the best results.

  • Run the air on cool and clean all air filters.
  • Spray vinegar directly onto furniture and into the rooms. Vinegar is an excellent deodorizer and cleaner.
  • Use volcanic rocks to absorb odors and moisture naturally, without perfumes or cover-ups. The rocks are an environmentally safe and a natural alternative. Odors have a positive charge, and the volcanic minerals have a negative charge, which acts like a magnet to attract and hold unpleasant odors.
  • Place baking soda in the areas where the smell is pronounced. Sprinkle baking soda on carpeted areas and let it sit for a couple of hours before vacuuming. Mix ¼ cup of baking soda with water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray.
  • Try adding a couple drops of essential oils, like vanilla extract, or cinnamon to the baking soda spritz for an added pop of freshness.
  • Plug-in air fresheners and candles can help too. Just don’t over do any fragrance. Fragrances are personal and a strong scent may turn off certain buyers.
  • Place used coffee grounds in shallow bowls around the home to act as a neutralizer.
  • Insert a fabric softener sheet under the sofa or chair cushion. The result will be a instantly freshened room while waiting for the other odors to neutralize.
  • Bake some cookies. This will create a nice scent and will be a good treat for your prospects too.

All the details matter when you are selling a home. From the home’s presentation, to the home staging and even how the home smells will weigh in on the impression the prospect gets from touring the listing.

Suzanne Kent a member of the design team at Tampa-based, Home Frosting contributed to this article.