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6 Smells That Turn Off Home Buyers


6 Smells That Turn Off Home Buyers


In our last blog about home showing tips, we talked about the things you need to do to make your home show at its best light. On this blog, we will dig more about one of the things that can turn off buyers during a home showing. We are talking about the ‘smell’. All the stuffs inside your home are adding to what’s called the ‘scent signature’ of your home. You may not be aware of it, because you have gotten so used to the smell but buyers who view your home can smell it.

When it comes to show time or open houses, you definitely want to try to get rid of the bad smells. Visual and olfactory senses really play a lot to people’s satisfaction.


Here are 6 smells that turn off home buyers and what you need to do get rid of them.

  Cooked Food  

You may have the best meal in the world but in reality, the meal you cooked is going to carry on into the next day. Some people may have really sensitive smell and can get easily turned off by lingering smell of cooked fish, garlic, or spicy food. Be careful about what you’re cooking if you know you’re going to be opening and showing your home the next day. When cooking, use stovetop fans and always open the window. Clean hard surfaces and wash drapery and other fabrics around the kitchen.


A pet hanging around while you’re showing can simply make buyers uncomfortable, adding the unwanted pet smell can drive them away.  While on the housing market make sure you get rid of all the dog beds and keep them clean. Pet urine and feces are the worst-smelling offence so you should keep the litter boxes clean. While you are showing or during the open house, try to keep  the pets out of the visual.


Smoke is one of the worst smells in a house and it’s kind of hard to get rid of without totally removing fabrics and carpet or painting the wall where the smell has been embedded.  If these are all out of the picture, you may want to try and get natural air moving in your home if you can. If you have to smoke, try to smoke outside or away from the house if possible.


Buyers inspect the appliances when they view a home especially if these come with the house. During a showing, make sure that you keep your appliances clean and odor-less. The refrigerator is the biggest odor box, get rid of the smell by placing a box of baking soda to absorb odors.

  Mold and Mildew  

Mold is big red flag for home buyers. Potential health problems are of much greater concern than the unpleasant smell. If you notice a musty odor, you have to remove the mold. Use dehumidifier or kill mold spores using chlorine dioxide. If the case is worst, hire a professional.


HVAC systems often use high-efficiency filters that remove odors from the air but  filters may not work over time. Check your system. The foul odor usually isn’t from the unit alone, it can originate from a few places throughout the system.  Change the filters in any ventilation, heating or air conditioning system. This will not only deter lingering smells throughout the house, but it will help keep those systems working better.

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Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the Greater Greenville Area area.