Making Home Viewings Accessible

Education & Training with My Chemical-Free House

I work with folks disabled by Multiple Chemical Sensitivities who face a lot of obstacles when accessing rental and sale home viewings. 

With 1/4 of the US population reporting some level of chemical sensitivities I think it's important to take some steps to make home viewings more accessible. 

1. Paint 

The first thing we can do to help is if we are repainting to use a zero-VOC paint. There are so many now, they range in price from very inexpensive lines like Valspar Pristine to high-end brands like many Benjamin Moore lines. 

This is something that can now be easily found in hardware and paint stores locally. 

On the trim we can avoid oil-based paints to minimize offgassing. 

2. Use of air fresheners 

The second part is to avoid the use of air fresheners that contain compounds that bother those with chemical sensitivity and other common environmental illnesses like asthma. 

To make homes more accessible we would avoid plug-in air fresheners, typical aerosol air fresheners, wick stick air fresheners, diffusers, scented candles (the synthetics types), and potpourri. 

Instead, it would be best to start with eliminating any malodors first (without chemicals). To do this we can bring in natural enzyme cleaners, natural mineral sprays, air out the place, and in some cases, we can use low levels of ozone (when the house is unoccupied). 

If there is smoke odor in the walls, we can prime and paint that. 

We can then bring in natural low scent products to add non-offensive scents at lower levels. 

Lightly scented sprays made with natural essential oils are likely to be better for most people but many with chemical sensitivity and asthma are also sensitive to these compounds. 

We can consider non-essential oil based products like the use of cedar woods in the closer, dried eucalyptus branches as a floral bouquet.

Brewing coffee or even baking goods can produce a very pleasing natural aroma. 

3. Cleaning products

Instead of using harsh cleaning and disinfecting products, we can use natural products scented with low levels of citrus scents. 

To disinfect in COVID times, hydrogen peroxide is a non-offensive odorless disinfectant. Alcohol can also be used when needed since it evaporates quickly. 



Comments (18)

Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Corinne, thanks for sharing this information, as I have not heard this before.  Welcome to ActiveRain.

Nov 21, 2021 06:15 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Corinne- Welcome to ActiveRain!!! What an interesting post!  Most of us may not like but can get past harsh chemicals in paint or candles. However for those with high sensitivities to this, we need to be aware of this especially when selling our home. 

Nov 21, 2021 06:16 PM
Corinne Segura

thank you

Nov 21, 2021 06:38 PM
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing Frye Realty - Naples, FL
Naples Golf Guy | Find Your Dream Lifestyle

Welcome to ActiveRain and congrats on your first post Corinne!

Nov 22, 2021 04:25 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Corinne - being aware and being considerate can certainly go hand-in-hand.  Congratulations on your first ActiveRain post.  

Nov 23, 2021 06:56 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Welcome to the ActiveRain community. Congratulations on your first post.

Nov 23, 2021 05:27 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Corinne Segura thank you for the very valuable report about making home viewings accessible.

Nov 23, 2021 05:29 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Nov 27, 2021 06:02 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Corinne - this is information that I didn't know.  I know that harsh cleaning products can cause problems.

Nov 28, 2021 04:49 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Interesting. I never liked air fresheners and won't use them myself, but wasn't aware there was paint that can help those with sensitivities. Thank you for sharing!

Nov 28, 2021 04:52 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Corrine. Welcome to the Rain. Great post with great tips on an issue that is becoming more important. Enjoy your day.

Nov 28, 2021 05:08 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Corinne.
Welcome to the ActiveRain blogging platform. I think you're going to love it here. We all love learning from each other and sharing our own knowledge.

Your blog post subject is very interesting and not something most people think about. Many years ago I had a client who was suffering from undiagnosed health issues. After much ado, they figured out he was allergic to some of the chemicals used in the manufacturing of their mobile home. I think it was a glue of some kind. They moved and he got better rather quickly.

Nov 28, 2021 05:15 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Corinne Segura - Welcome to ActiveRain.  A few years ago, our Sedona Luxury Real Estate Professionals had a special open house at a completely green home including a highly sophisticated air purifying system. It was an amazing tour.  This is where I learned much of what you stated. It is great information to share.  

Back then this home was about $25,000 higher than the market.  But there is a market for this type of home. 

Nov 28, 2021 08:22 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Having worked with chemically sensitive clients recently and over the years, your post is valuable to many!  I've also found that natural gas is a no no as well.  I'm somewhat sensitive so completely understand how it works.  One of my clients is ULTRA sensitive.  She cannot even use hand sanitizer.  So very sad.  Keep up the great work advocating for those with sensitivies! 

Nov 28, 2021 08:24 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Corinne, what great suggestions. Those plug-in air fresheners seem to be the worst. I know people are trying to give their home a fresh scent but most fragrances seem to bother my nose never mind someone who is extremely sensitive. I don't see a lot of homes with smoking odors. I'm sure they're out there. When we do come across them, they're pretty bad. The biggest thing I run across with my clients is cat odors. It seems so many people are allergic to cats. I have a slight allergy but can usually handle showing a house with cats. People with severe allergies usually have to have the house thoroughly cleaned, the air vents cleaned, and the carpet replaced at a minimum. 

Nov 28, 2021 08:32 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

So many people are completely in the dark about sensitivities of the type you offer and just a simple question when buying paint can make a difference to many.

Welcome to ActiveRain

Nov 28, 2021 09:49 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Corinne Segura welcome to ActiveRain, and congratulations on successfully posting your first blog on this site.

Nov 28, 2021 02:07 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thank you, Corrine, for some valuable advice, and Welcome to ActiveRain. I hope we will here more tips and advice from you, and see you interacting with the community!


Nov 28, 2021 07:45 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I know it really is debilitating for some people to be in the situations. This is very very thoughtful- :

Nov 30, 2021 08:33 PM