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Wait... What is that smell? Do you have pets?

Spring is a busy time for real estate sales. The market picks up dramatically this time of year but so does the competition. You've read the articles and took the advice. Likely you have improved your curb appeal, touched up the paint, de-cluttered your space and put out the Welcome mat. You are ready for potential buyers!

Wait...what is that smell? Do you have pets?

Don't let pet odors derail your home sale. You've worked hard to get your house ready to show; here are some tips to take care of that often overlooked problem-the dreaded pet odors!

Air out your house- Let the fresh air in, open all windows to circulate air and sweep out unpleasant odors. Spring is a great time for this.

Scrub thoroughly- Use vinegar to scrub bare floors and walls soiled by pets or try an odor-neutralizing product purchased at a pet supply store for $10 to $25. For bigger areas you may have to spend several hundred dollars to hire a service that specializes in hard-to-clean stains.

Paint, replace, or seal walls- When heavy-duty cleaners haven't taken the smell out of drywall, plaster, or woodwork, try adding a fresh coat of paint or stain. As a last resort replace the drywall or wood altogether.

Wash your drapes and upholstery- Pet odors hide in fabrics. Thoroughly clean all your fabric window coverings. You can clean upholstered furniture using a cleaner specially designed to remove pet hair or pay a pro.

Clean your carpets- This can be a do it yourself job but one that a pro will do relatively inexpensively, about $25 to $50 per room, depending on their size and condition of carpet. After the carpet dries, have a friend perform a sniff test, this will tell you if you need the extra deodorizing products. If carpeting cannot be sufficiently cleaned and deodorized it will need to go.

Place potpourri or scented candles in strategic locations- Put an exclamation point on your deep clean efforts with potpourri and scented candles. Don't go overboard, use a mild potpourri or candles in your entry to create a warm first impression, don't forget the kitchen and bathrooms.

Control ongoing urine smells- If your dog uses indoor pee pads, put down a new pad each time the dog goes. Be sure to dispose of them outside in a trash can with a tight lid. Don't forget to remove even clean pads from view before each showing.

Replace kitty litter daily and sweep up around the litter box. Don't forget to hide the litter box before each showing.

Relocate pets- Consider sending your pet on a temporary vacation with a really good friend or family member. If you cannot bear to be away from your pets, remove them from the house for showings and put away their dishes and toys.

These tips will allow potential buyers to see the best your home has to offer without distractions.

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