Enjoy the sweet smell of success when selling a home

Owning a pet will not lower the value of your home but the smell of dogs, cats and hamsters could deter viewers from making a good offer

Claims that owning a pet can lower the value of a home are false, says East London estate agent Peach Properties.

However, the odour created by the estimated 16.9 million pet dogs and cats that are part of UK households can make a residential property more difficult to sell.

All pets have their own distinctive scent, but when they are part of a family unit owners can become desensitised to the smells their dog or cat leaves behind.

Before you put your house on the market, take steps to have the entire property cleaned by a professional firm, advises North London estate agent Paramount Properties. This will ensure every room smells fresh and clean and any pet hair is removed from sight.

You may no longer notice the damage caused to the interior of your home by a cat using the living room door as a scratching pole or a puppy turning skirting boards into doggy chews, but viewers will.

When carrying out any repairs or DIY jobs while preparing your home for sale, remember to take note and rectify any signs of pet damage.

On the days viewings take place it is also advisable to keep your pets away from living areas and all feeding bowls, toys and other pet accessories are kept out of sight.

Independent estate agent Eden Harper, which has offices in Brixton and near the world-famous Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, adds that even if the viewers are pet lovers themselves, evidence of animals in the property can be a distraction and prevent a potential buyer giving your home their full attention.

It is not just animal odours that are known to turn off viewers. Here, we list three more smells to avoid when viewers are approaching your front door.


The kitchen may be the heart of a home, but lingering smells such as bacon, garlic and fish should be banished by opening a window and a liberal dose of a specialised neutralising fragrance.

On the other hand, it is equally advisable to fill your kitchen with the smell of just-bake bread or freshly brewed coffee.


Cigarette smoke is the most common smell that would immediately put off most potential buyers. Non-smokers are able to detect the whiff of tobacco hours after a cigarette has been extinguished.

For this reason, it is advisable to make the interior of your home a smoke-free zone the moment you decide to put it on the market, says Fulham estate agent Lawsons & Daughters.


Older properties can be prone to damp, but its smell can linger long after the problem has been resolved if any mould that has appeared is not removed.

It is, therefore, advisable to remove any evidence of damp by hiring a professional cleaning company to deal with the problem.

And finally….

The over-use of strongly-scented air fresheners can be as off-putting as the smells created by your pets, smoking, cooking or damp. Don’t let the smell of your home affect its sale. Instead of masking any unpleasant odours it is better to tackle their root cause.



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