Many people enjoy being greeted at the door by their pets. But, no one likes being greeted at the door by the odor of pets living in your home. So, if you're selling your home and you've got pets, you need to make sure you don't have a problem before anyone comes to the door to see your home.

First off, you're not going to solve a pet odor problem with air fresheners, candles or incense. That might mask smells for a while, but it won't solve anything. And some folks will just assume you're trying to hide something.

No, the answer isn't different smells: If you want your home to smell clean, it's going to have to be clean. Scrupulously clean from top to bottom. Make sure to include fabrics that can trap odors, and upholstery and carpets. Professional ozone-based carpet cleaning can do miracles.

Once you get your home smelling clean, keep it that way. Some experts advise moving your pets somewhere else while you have your home on the market, but that's not always a realistic solution. So make sure cat boxes and dog urine pads are always fresh. Let your home air out naturally. When temperatures outside cooperate, open the windows for a while. The scent of the outdoors around your home will help ground it when people walk in the door. 

It can be hard sometimes to notice an odor you live with, so as a final test, ask your real estate professional or a friend to walk through and do a sniff test. Better a friend than a prospective buyer!  

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy Charles Huss/