Welcome to Centers and Squares

As a Cambridge real estate agent, the city squares of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and the town centers of Arlington, Watertown and Belmont, Massachusetts are my home turf. And as a lifelong New Englander who’s lived within twenty miles of Boston most of my life, I can introduce you to other nearby towns as we search for your new home. If you’re planning to sell your home in Cambridge, MA or nearby you’ll find plenty of info about the home selling process here too. Questions? Send me an email or call me at 617-504-1737.

Dollars and Scents For Homesellers

Smells In The HouseIf you smell it you can’t sell it!” the former manager of our Huron Avenue office used to say.  And she was right.  If you’re selling your house you need to think about scents.

 Scent makes a very strong impression when entering a house for the first time.  There are several things to do – and not to do – to ensure that the impression your house makes is a positive one.

 Agents are often embarrassed to tell their clients that their house smells.  So it’s best to assume the worst and do all that you can to make sure your home smells sweet.

Here’s some tough love advice for getting and keeping your house show-ready:

Fresh Air In

Let The Fresh Air InFor starters – fresh air is free.  Fling the windows open and air out your house.  Nothing is worse than stale air – in all its variations.  Even if it’s cold out, turn down the heat and let the air in for a bit – a short bit if it’s very cold.  And if it’s not the dead of winter, but not yet warm enough to leave the windows open all day, while you’re on the market be sure to give your home a daily breather before leaving in the morning.

 

Odors Out 

 If you can’t stash dirty laundry in the basement or in the washing machine, do a load of wash.  If the clothes pile up you’re in danger of entering the “man smell” zone as my colleague calls it – when the odor of unwashed clothes greets you at the bedroom or closet door.  A related no-no is the damp-towels-in-the-bath smell.  Whip those towels out of the bathroom every day and replace them with the unused set you’ve kept just for show. Every day may be laundry day when your house is on the market!

 Cooking odors are also problematic.  The scent of baking cookies – good.  The smell of last night’s fish dinner – bad.  Plan your menu accordingly or make sure to thoroughly air the house.

 Pets and smokers present their own sets of issues.  Pitch the well loved dog bed and blankets, empty the litter box daily, clean the upholstery thoroughly, and clean the carpets.  Even better, if at all possible, send the pets to the neighbors’ or their grandparents’ for the duration. If the smokers in the household haven’t been banished to the outdoors, now’s the time. Indoor smoking should cease well in advance of putting your house on the market. 

Be Careful With Sweet Smells

Baking Cookies For The Open HouseBe careful not to fall into the trap of using air fresheners or scented candles for odor control or enhancement.  The plug-ins and other types of air fresheners sold in the supermarket are a turn-off for most buyers.  Many people are allergic to the chemicals in these products and a buyer with a pounding headache is not inclined to think fondly of your house. And most people will wonder what’s being masked by the strong smelling deodorizers.

 One effective but far more subtle option is the reed diffusers that you can find everywhere nowadays.  Be careful – some of these can be quite strong too.  You want the scent to enhance, not overwhelm.  Sandalwood is one scent that doesn’t overpower.  Balsam is another – at any time of year – and one of my favorites is made by Frazier Fir.  It’s expensive but elegant year round and worth the cost. Check local shops if you want a more inexpensive alternative – there are many diffusers available for under $25.

 It really is about the “dollars and scents”.  Make a good impression and you’ll be a successful home seller – make a bad impression and your pocketbook will suffer.

 Now let’s get ready and get your house sold!

 And for more tough love for sellers see:

Stage Your House To Sell – Declutter

 

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  1. Harland Malaver

    Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any methods to stop hackers?

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