Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Smell the coffee

It doesn't take a genius to know that olfactory factor is vital in selling houses. No one wants a house that stinks.
In fact, bad smells top the charts of undesirable features, beating even misted aluminium double glazing, toilet carpets, and, yes, even partially-melted polystyrene ceiling tiles.
At the moment we have a rather unusual zoo fragrance emanating from our living room. Not a big zoo, you understand, not London, or Whipsnade. Perhaps more of a petting zoo, or if you're not downwind, the small animal section of a garden centre.
Because in a box in the corner of the room are nine lovely 11-day-old puppies. And though the box is regularly changed, and pups kept clean, I can see the look on visitors' faces as the doggy smell hits them when they walk into the hall.
It's a perennial problem for estate agents; the house is in a good location, the pics look great, the viewers swarm (well, OK, at the moment a few buzz past). But as they step over the very promising threshold the stench of smoke/cat pee/socks hits them, and they spend more time considering the guttering from the back garden than imagining themselves entertaining the boss in the open-plan kitchen.
There are solutions, apart from the obvious one of cleaning, including special air purifying machines (but not air fresheners - as one agent put it, nothing says, 'my house stinks and I'm trying to hide it' like air fresheners).
But I would love to hear the conversation between embarrassed agent and appalled owner as he tries to broach the problem.
'Lovely house, sir. It would be worth £500,00 if...'
'If my eyes didn't water and my gag reflex weren't activated by the noxious smell coming from years of slovenly living and that box of puppies in the corner.'
The thing with smells is that they can permeate to the extent that new carpets and a complete redecoration are the only answer. So I'm nipping the odour of my lovely puppies in the bud, and have bought a ton of bicarbonate of soda - which, according to Kim and Aggie will clean everything from a blocked drain to a blocked artery.
And when, in the spring I try to sell my house, I hope the only smell will be the sweet fragrance of success.


  1. Hmm, sorry, but have to say this: selling a pup?!

    I recently used bicarb and salt to clear my blocked sinuses and it did the job well .. can't smell anything anymore but can breathe freely...

  2. I've heard that bicarb is really good for absorbing damp too, if you put a pot of it in a corner, not that it'll help with the puppies :)

    I think your blog's great, I'm a copywriter myself and was wondering would you accept guest posts on your blog?

    I must apologise as I couldn't find an email address to contact. My email is cclark@policyexpert.co.uk.

    Best Regards,