The kiss of death for any real estate showing is the customer refrain “What’s that smell?” Whether it is mildew, fireplace, cat litter, or septic system, those odors have to be identified and eradicated.
A thorough cleaning of the house is always in order. Cleaning the cat litter box, cleaning the fireplaces, and emptying garbage pails are all part of routine maintenance which must be done continually while a house is on the market.
Some smells, like dampness, can be improved with products such as “Fresh Wave.”
A septic odor is not necessarily a sign that the septic system is not working. Often when a house is not occupied for a period of time, or even if a shower is not used for a period of time, the water in the sink traps evaporates, and the septic gases can back up into the house. Running the water in all tubs, showers, and sinks will block that smell.
When you are looking at how your house appears to prospective buyers, make sure to use your nose as well as your eyes!