If I Can Smell Your House, So Can the Buyer

Real Estate Agent with Virginia Capital Realty

Offensive odors in your home can be a sensitive issue to bring up when a real estate agent is assessing your home for marketing.  There's no way around it though! If your house has the slightest odor that can turn off a buyer, it must be addressed before listing it.  The toughest, almost impossible odors to remove are cigarette and certain pet odors.

Original content by Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties TN Broker: 208698

If I Can Smell Your House, So Can  the Buyer. One of the most important responsibilities of a good Clarksville real estate agent is to tell the seller if the house has offensive odors.  Smells

Usually odors are noticed the moment one steps into the home. There are even times that a pet odor or the smell of cigarettes can be detected standing on the outside. When selling your home you want your home to be the best it can be. In Clarksville TN, there are many homes for sale and to get your home sold you need to listen to your agent.

See homes for sale in Clarksville TN and you will know what I am talking about. 

It is my responsibility to let the seller know if any odors are present. I explain it is my job to help them get the best price possible and present the home in its best light. The fact that I mentioned a bad odor is to help and certainly not to hurt feelings. I want my sellers to get top dollar in Clarksville TN.

So when the real estate agent says " If I can smell your house, so can the buyer", please know that this agent is looking out for you and trying to get you the best price and a quick sale. 

The best way to get rid of bad odors is to clean and ventilate. The smell of clean is the best smell. When it comes to pet odors it may take professional carpet or upholstery cleaning or in some cases replacement of the carpet. Track down the smell and eliminate the problem. Keep pets clean and litter boxes pristine. Don't smoke in the house and if your clothes have a smokey smell, wash them or air them out.

I caution about using cover-ups such as plug-ins or potpourri. The sweet smell can also turn a buyer off or even make some buyers sick. Remember think clean. Setting containers of baking soda around the house will help absorb odors.

Some other odor culprits that can hinder a sale are:

  • All pet odors including birds.
  • Cigarette, cigar or even pipes leave a smell
  • Cooking odors especially strong spices,  cabbage, onions, garlic
  • Garbage or spoiled food
  • Dirty clothes, stinky shoes or soiled diapers
  • Rugs, carpets, drapes, upholstery
  • Mold, mildew or damp smells
  • Body odors
  • Bathrooms, kitchens or sewer pipe gas

If you follow the advice above you will avoid hearing, If I Can Smell Your House, So Can the Buyer. 

When you are ready to sell contact an trusted Clarksville Realtor, Debbie Reynolds. Call 931-920-6730.



Want To Know What Debbie Has to Say? 

If you are needing Real Estate services in Clarksville TN it would be my pleasure to assist you!


"The Real Debbie Reynolds" at

Prudential PenFed Realty, 2503 Wilma Rudolph Blvd., Clarksville, TN 37040

An independently owned and operated member of BRER Affiliated, Inc.

Not affiliated with Prudential. Prudential watermarks used under license.

931-920-6730 (office)   931-320-6730 (cell)





Comments (9)

Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Athina,  So right about smells in homes. I have to turn around sometimes and tell my people they are not interested in this one.

Jun 19, 2013 01:41 AM
Athina Boukas
Virginia Capital Realty - Richmond, VA
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)

Hi Will,

I re-blogged this because it is a touchy subject but so important. It is like telling someone they have bad breath or BO...but you want to tell them before they go out on their date!

Jun 21, 2013 12:58 AM
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

I enjoyed the reblog Athina. Debbie has pointed out the main culprits of the odors that are high on the list of turnoffs.

Jan 25, 2014 11:44 PM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Hello Athina ... great re-blog and Debbie sure knows how to write great posts 

Dec 27, 2014 04:34 AM
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist

Part of the problem is that sometimes those who live with those smells all the time don't even smell them anymore... they've grown used to the smell.  Nice re-blog... off to Debbie's post.

May 03, 2015 10:18 AM
Chuck Willman
Chuck Willman - Alpine, UT

Quite a few  ago I helped a good man buy a house. In the process we became fast friends. He asked me to help him sell his house and buy another.

Problem. It smelled of smoke so much that it gave me a headache. In the end I let him know another agent who could be of service with a home like his.

It was sad- though I tried to be as diplomatic as possible it hurt our relationship and it also hurt my potential pocketbook (which is of much less concern actually.)

I think people lose the ability to smell their own homes after a while.

May 28, 2015 12:34 PM
Athina Boukas
Virginia Capital Realty - Richmond, VA
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)

Cigarette smoke is virtually impossible to eliminate completely followed by heavy cooking smells cause by heavy spices.  These smells make their way through the ventilation system. HVAC contractors say you can sanitize the syatem and then add charcoal but it will still take years to fade away, if ever.

May 29, 2015 12:32 AM
Victoria Palmer
Victoria Staging & ReDesign - Lake Havasu City, AZ
Home Staging & Redesign

Athina,  You are "Spot On" with your post and re-post!  As a Home Stager it is an issue we have to address.  I have found that heavy drapes - which I typically will remove for a lighter/brighter look - can trap many odors too.

Also, thanks for the follow.

Mar 18, 2016 11:56 AM
Chad Felter
Virginia Beach, VA
Providing service through out Virginia.

Thats why I don't burn candles.

Smell ya later.

Nov 25, 2020 04:44 AM