Pet odours can chase away potential buyers


While our beloved pets make great companions, they can also bring an odour that turns potential buyers away. You may not even be aware your home has an odour, as our noses have the ability to adapt and be less sensitive to smells around us. It’s wise to ask your Realtor to give you an honest assessment of the smell in your house, and if needed take immediate measure to neutralize them, so that you can then add fresh scents.


Absorb odours. Before adding any scents to your home, you want to start by neutralizing any odours. Baking soda absorbs odors, thus neutralizing less pleasant scents. Simply sprinkle some on your carpets, and furniture. Let it sit for an hour and then vacuum it up. Coffee grinds and dry oatmeal also help to absorb odours. You can add either to a shallow bowl or Tupperware container and place around your house.


Wash and wipe.  Scrub all floors, walls, baseboards and other hard surfaces with vinegar and water, another great neutralizing solution. Because pet odours seep into fabrics, ensure all linens, drapes, cushions and pillows are cleaned. Some can be thrown into the washing machine, while others need to be dry-cleaned or steam cleaned.


Remove odours. If odours are still present, consider bringing in The Ozone-Pros. Their unique treatment process removes odours in a safe and efficient way that sanitizes, deodorizes and disinfects the indoor air in your home. They guarantee their services whether working with cigarette smoke, mold/mildew, pets or ethnic food.  See more at


Let fresh air in.  We’re limited on how much longer we can leave windows open for as the winter draws nearer and nearer. When possible, open windows, especially prior to showings to allow fresh air to circulate through and drive pet smells out.


Professional cleaning. Some odours are embedded enough into the fabric of furniture and carpets that they need to be professionally cleaned. Carpet cleaning companies offer powerful deodorizing solutions where for an added fee they can ensure your carpets and furniture not only look great, but smell great as well. Some companies even guarantee their services where if you can still smell the odour, they will come back to redo their work.  We’ve worked with Alberta Carpet Cleaning a few times and have been very pleased with their service and pricing.


Extreme measures. Depending on the severity of the odour, more extreme measures may need to be taken. For example, some flooring may need to be replaced. If doing so, take the time to scrub the subfloor with a vinegar and water solution to remove the odour before laying down new flooring.  You may also have to repaint or replace walls.


Relocate your pet(s). Once your home is free of pet odours, do what you can to keep the smells from returning.  If your pet has a best friend it can stay with while you’re selling your home (and you can stand to be separated from your pet), consider sending your pet on a temporary vacation. If your pet has to stay, remove him or her from the house for showings, put away their dishes, bed(s), crate, toys etc.


After odours have been neutralized, you then want to add the right scents to help draw buyers in to want your home. Check back next week, as we’ll be discussing what smells help to sell your home.  If you’re considering a move, and don’t already have a Realtor, feel free to call us at 780-980-2828 or email It’d be our honour to help you in any way we can.


Jason Rustand with RE/MAX Real Estate serves with the highest level of integrity and excellence every time.  For more info on this topic or others related to real estate contact LIKE our Jason Rustand Team Facebook page, email or visit









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