Unpleasant odors are not only an inconvenience when you live in a home, but they are also an issue when you're attempting to sell.

Bad smells can deter potential buyers, and a home inspection professional could see them as an indication of structural damage or other hazards. Indeed, offensive scents can sometimes result from a needed repair in your home or something as simple as a pet. In any case, you'll want to address and alleviate the odor prior to inviting buyers into your home. Here are some common sources of foul smells around the house:


When you have standing water on an absorbent surface in a dark place, you've got a breeding ground for mold. It is not the most appealing sight, and your nose won't be too happy either - not to mention, there are health risks associated with mold exposure. Given that mold can grow for some time unnoticed, you'll likely have a sizeable challenge on your hands if you discover that it is the source of a bad smell in your home.

Although some online articles and videos may have suggestions for identifying mold and cleaning up, it is important to consult a professional. Schedule a comprehensive mold inspection to find out if the spores have spread throughout your home. Professionals in this area know where to look for mold, even in places you can't reach or wouldn't think to check. They also know how to spot areas at risk for future mold growth.


If you like to smoke in the house, you'll have a hefty challenge on your hands to remove the stale odor. This is because the smell seeps into many parts of your home, including carpets, furniture, draperies and even the paint on your walls.

For this reason, walls will need to be stripped and repainted. A thorough steam cleaning can help with getting the smell out of carpet and furniture. Once everything is cleaned, avoid smoking in the house again. Given that most homes are sold in the summer, you'll won't likely be inconvenienced by stepping out for a moment.


Fido and Fluffy may be valued members of your family, but their smells probably aren't as welcome to potential buyers. Some pet breeds naturally have a more noticeable odor, which can get into your linens and furniture if your pet moves freely throughout your home.

Steam cleaning is also advised in this instance. Also, clean your pets' beds and give them a bath. If your pets have accidents on the carpet or rugs, be sure to use special cleaners made for these stains, which make sure that the smell is completely removed. Litter boxes and newspaper used for pet waste should be changed often and kept out of sight when potential buyers visit.


Old and worn pipes in your bathrooms and kitchen can produce offensive odors. This can be especially true if you haven't cleaned your pipes in a while. In the shower, for example, hair and dirt can begin to accumulate in the drain, causing a bad smell. The same can be true if you tend to let food particles enter the drain in your kitchen sink - not to mention, this can eventually clog the pipes, creating an even bigger issue.

Be sure to use a pipe cleaning solution or tool every so often, and make sure your plumbing is updated. In addition to preventing smells, having functional pipes can lead to a more positive report following a new home inspection.