One too many times I have walked into a home with a potential buyer and the first thing out of their mouth….OMG, what is that smell?!?!?!  My job as a Real Estate Professional is to never pass judgement on someone’s standard of living or to never to set a pre-determined idea in my buyers mind of what a homes condition is going to be based on price or demographic location.   I 100% want them to be the one to determine whether this is their standard of living, not mine.

With that said, I wanted to write this blog to help the many homeowners out there who may struggle with what it means to not only have their home in show ready condition to the eye, but also when it comes to the sense of smell.  While over the many years of showing homes, I have had several experiences with buyers being turned off by homes with bad odors, such as cigarette smoke, cat box odors, moisture issues and other unknown smells, it wasn’t until I took out a some recent buyers that we pretty much experienced every known odor to mankind in a 2 day period.  It was disturbing not only to them, but it seriously got to the point that I know longer could just keep quiet about it, and it honestly became a joke during our search for a home for them.  While we can all understand, that no home, other than New Construction will be exempt from some kind of lived in smell, the smells that we encountered at times were so overwhelming that we actually  had to exit homes.  House number 1, we seriously counted at least 10 cinnamon plug in air fresheners, which we were hit with from the minute we opened the front door.  The husband in particular, not being a fan of cinnamon, was literally choking and left the home to go wait in the car.  The wife and I continued through the showing very quickly, but she was laughing all the way to the car and quickly dismissed the home based on the fact that they must be hiding something.  The 2nd home, again had so many plug in air fresheners, this time, the scent was inconsistent, a cross between warm vanilla and what we think may have been pine, we quickly determined, that this was to mask the odor of the 5 cat boxes that were in the basement, which we were struck with the minute we opened the basement door.  This odor of the cat urine slapped us in the face like a baseball bat.  Needless to say, this visit was short-lived.  The 3rd home, took a different route and didn’t try to mask anything, but apparently decided to limit their smoking to the family room, with ashtrays overfilled and the smell of smoke so strong that who knows if painting would even cure that.  The final home of the day, and thank goodness my clients had a good sense of humor had an automatic air freshener on each shelf in every room.  You know, the kind that automatically just blow burst of freshener off at random times.  Well, one of the fresheners decided to blow off right in my clients face, which not only got in her eyes, but scared the day lights out of her.

The moral here, rather than hiding odors from prospective buyers it is better to eliminate the source.  Masking or hiding odors will just make potential buyers think that you are trying to hide a problem.    This resource from Pinterest has many great ideas to help get rid of odors and you can also consult your local cleaning company for help.

For more helpful tips, check out my website at or give me a call today at 518-858-3742.  Make It A Great Day!  Tracy