Want to sell your home quickly? Get rid of those smells

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The smell of cigarette smoke can scuttle your housing sale.

My wife and I were looking at a nice home: It was a brick bungalow, well within our price range and large enough for our family. Problem was, it smelled.

The entire place reeked of cat urine. That outweighed the hardwood floors, impressive first-floor staircase and large master bedroom. We passed.

That house, which we looked at about four years ago before buying our current residence, eventually sold. But I have no idea how.

Rick Schuler and Housh Khoshbin understand just how deadly odors can be for people trying to sell their homes, especially in a housing market as competitive as Chicago’s is. The two men are principals of Lisle-based CleanZone Systems

CleanZone uses ozone generators to eradicate mold in homes and commercial buildings. The process, though, also eliminated the foulest of odors, including pet and smoke odors. CleanZone even helps eliminate pests, including those nasty bedbugs.

How the process works is fairly technical: It uses ultraviolet light technology to produce ozone in concentrations that other generators can’t match.

For homeowners trying to move their residences in today’s market, it’s crucial to eliminate odors.

“You don’t want customers to walk through your door and be turned off by odors,” said Khoshbin. “You want to get buyers through to that next step, where they take a long look at your home. You can’t get that if the house has bad smells.”

Of course, mold is a problem, too. It’s hard to sell a house that has mold problems. It’s why eradicating mold is just as important as is erasing bad smells.

Schuler and Khoshbin admit that their business has been slowed by the sluggish national economy. This is ironic, though. Their business’ mold eradication system doesn’t require the ripping up of drywall or the tearing up of carpeting. It will also eradicate a mold problem forever so long as homeowners or commercial property owners eliminate the moisture problem that’s causing mold to sprout.

In short, the system can save homeowners and commercial building owners money.

Problem is, many people, including owners trying to sell their homes, are holding tight to every dollar they have.

This can come back to bite homeowners, though, if buyers step through their front doors only to wrinkle their noses at the odor of cigarette smoke that’s still lingering in the master bedroom’s drapes.


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    Recently, we purchased a foreclosed home. The house had sat empty for over a year before, we bought it the pervious owner had several cats, and the odors were very bad. A friend had mentioned this air-renu paint additive, at first I was wary, but I had to paint the entire house anyway, and if it did work, I would save a lot of money by not having to replace the carpet and carpet pad. It took several days before I could tell it was working now all the smell is gone, and the house smells clean. One application of Air-ReNu remains effective for 10-12 years.

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    Making sure there are no smells is important. We purchased a home that needed major work, the worst part about all the remodeling was the previous owner had 15 cats. They cat waste and urine smell did not go away no matter what we did. We found out the smell was coming from the central hvac system. So we ended up having to have our heater repaired in Beverly Hills. After having that done repaired and fixed our ductwork the smell went away. The contractor showed us the ductwork and there were rodent droppings and the smell was concentrated and penetrated into the ducts.

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