Perfume on a Pig

Real Estate Agent with Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 SA5376460000

Perfume on a Pig

Perfume on a Pig - When working with a buyerPerfume on a Pig in the Phoenix Metro Area, it's common practice to show homes that have been purchased, remodeled, and then listed for sale.  These homes are typically about the same paint color, varying shades of tan, with granite counter tops and fresh exteriors.  But sometimes you wonder what's underneath it all.


Recently, while showing homes to a prospective buyer, I came across a home that we ended up writing a contract on that fit this category.  The home was clean, sparkling in fact, had neutral paint, tile and carpet, with a nice kitchen.  But the home smelled waaaayyyy too sweet, definitely Perfume on a Pig! 

In fact so sweet that we all  noticed it.  

We wrote a contract on the home because it fit my buyers needs for rooms, floorplan, price and condition - or so we thought.  Then comes the home inspection.  


Remembering that my buyer client requested that all air fresheners be removed from the home for the home inspection, I followed orders.  But when I counted them, I was floored.  There were 11 of them in every nook and cranny of this 1800 sq ft home.  So many that we were both nauseated.  I found another one after taking the above photo!


The home inspection uncovered  many Home Inspection Defectsdefects.  Some of the defects were obvious as we both noticed those when looking at the home.  But some took a bit more scrutiny.  This was yet another, "Lipstick on a Pig" home that was a nice mask of what the home could really become.  

This sale has since been cancelled due to the numerous defects that surfaced on yet another successful inspection by inspector extraordinaire, John Elson, Falcon Property Inspections.


Thanks John!  You coined the phrase, "Perfume on a Pig" when we uncovered 11 air fresheners in this home!   It always pays to have a thorough home inspection to uncover defects that may not manifest themselves early on.  Thanks again John for a great inspection! 


And if you're looking to buy, sell or have ideas for a remodel, give me a call! 



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Comments (130)

Brad MacKenzie
Brad MacKenzie - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

I'm always suspicious of scents. Even cookies that are supposed to make the house smell inviting make me think someone's trying to cover something up.

Aug 17, 2013 09:30 AM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

and of course the sellers were appalled that there were so many things wrong!!! they lose plausible deniablity with the air fresheners!!

Aug 17, 2013 10:52 AM
Julie Bentley
Watson Realty Corp, Jacksonville, FL - St Johns, FL
Saint Johns, FL REALTOR

Did you ever find out what odor the Seller was trying to mask? And did the Seller really think Buyers and Agents wouldn't find it odd to have that many air fresheners?! Something was definitely fishy.

Aug 17, 2013 11:32 AM
nobody - Alamance, NT

Amazing what some try to hide. Inspections are so important they are the first item on my check list to buyers.

Aug 17, 2013 12:23 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Comments have been going for a while and I might not reply to everyone, so I apolgize for that.  

1)  We never discovered why the sellers included so many air fresheners. Was it the listing agent's idea?

2)  There were at least 30 defects listed, including the roof.  They had patched the roof in several places when it really needing replacing.  Asphalt roofs last about 8 - 10 years in Arizona, so this is a frequent problem on those non-tile roofs.  Tile roofs can last at least 25 years with a review for broken tiles once in a while.  

3)  I don't think there were pets in the house, and we never discovered any smells by themselves without the silly air fresheners. 

4)  We cancelled because we didn't get a good vibe from the seller. He called the home inspector directly to discuss the repairs, then proceeded to tell the inspector the short cuts he was prepared to take.  Amazing!

5)  I always request an inspection, no matter what.  John has been an amazing inspector who is great at relaying all defects in whatever manner suits the personality.  Abrupt list, or gently listed.  Whatever it takes!

Paddy - you nailed it! 

I'd rather smell cookies or baking bread than smelly air fresheners!

Aug 17, 2013 03:36 PM
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

I see folks using them to cover up bad pet odors, filth, and urine. (Gross)

Aug 18, 2013 12:05 AM
Bill Morrow
Keller Williams of Central PA - Mechanicsburg, PA
Bill Morrow, Associate Broker

Great  affirmation as to the importance of home inspections by a PROFESSIONAL inspector.

Aug 18, 2013 08:43 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Dana - yes, covering up odors is common amongst sellers.  It's just too bad they don't work as hard at ridding the house of odors as they do in selecting and purchasing deodorizers!

Bill - couldn't agree more. Professionals inspectors are so important!

Aug 18, 2013 11:39 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Flip homes are a red flag and one area I do not feel it is wrong to request lots of repairs, even on seemingly minor things.  These homes are marketed as turn key and already rehabed. 

Aug 19, 2013 03:57 AM
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Jan, we too have shown many "flipped" homes.  We can usually spot them immediately.  And we always warn buyer that the inspection may not uncover all defects.

Aug 19, 2013 04:20 AM
Deleted Account
Fort Myers, FL

I don't like any air fresheners in a home being sold, because I wonder, "What is it covering up?"  When I talk to a seller and they have air fresheners in the home, I ask them why.  Then I explain that the best smell you can have when selling a home is no smell.  I tell them, if they are covering up something, the home inspector will probably find it, so why hide it.  Once they find you are hiding something, they wonder what else are you hiding?

Aug 20, 2013 11:24 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Gene - yes, lots of these homes are supposed to be "move-in" ready, when in fact they aren't.  Very frustrating to find a laundry list of repairs turn up during an inspection.

Bob- I think the market in general has turned up lots of these.  More every day folks have turned themselves into investors, reminiscent of 2005!

William - You're absolutely correct.  Better to be honest and up front than to mask the odor, much less the repairs!

Aug 21, 2013 02:19 PM
George G. Kasabian
Century 21 Masters - Pasadena, CA
Realtor, Pasadena

lipstick on a pig.. also Mickey mouse job.   i use this regularly.   I've done lot of flips 3years ago and not once we did a mickey mouse job, but i see that every month... i agree making money is good but at least earn it sellers.

Aug 26, 2013 07:43 AM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

Great tag line! Here my neck of the woods some try to make a silk purse from a sow's ear. Sometimes all we can do is smile and move on to the next one.

Sep 02, 2013 08:16 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Anna- You're right.  Sayings like these last a lifetime and can be used in the craziest of writings!

Sep 04, 2013 07:04 AM
Amy Gutschow
RE/MAX - Sheboygan, WI
Professional Real Estate

Showed a place the other day and had my own little giggle remembering your post here.  It definately fit the description.  So many odors can be taken care of.  A buyer would rather see the carpets pulled and the walls all painted with primer than smell the foul odors that will cause it to never sell... Stop putting perfume on the pig!

Oct 22, 2013 01:29 AM
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Great title! A home inspection is always necessary on a purchase.

Oct 27, 2013 01:08 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Amy - Thanks for commenting.  I hear you - crazy stuff that people do rather than fix the problem.

Wayne - I agree!

Nov 04, 2013 01:37 PM
Anne Hensel
South Beaches Real Estate Professionals - Saint Petersburg, FL
Realtor - Broker - St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island

And they thought that no one would notice???  Your title is purrrrrfect for your post!  Thanks!

Mar 23, 2014 09:22 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Anne - thank you for stopping by.  Strange what sellers think when they list homes for sale.  

Mar 23, 2014 11:40 AM