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The #1 Reason Buyers Are RUNNING Out of Your Home!

It’s a typical sunny and 75 degree day in North Carolina. These first-time buyers that I am escorting to their dream home are practically bouncing with excitement as they hold onto a copy of their PRE-QUAL letter. We pull up to the house that they have been drooling over after seeing photos online. It was not a vacant home, so we needed to schedule in advance; which built up their anticipation more than a five-year-old the day before his/her birthday! The curb appeal of this home is AWESOME. The owners of this home clearly take pride in caring for their property. I get the door unlocked, then I step inside and dramatically wave my clients inside like I’m auditioning to be the next Vanna White. They step in with huge smiles on their face and stop in the middle of the living room. They both look around unsurely.. then they look at each other and as if it were rehearsed they say, “Nope.” My clients could not walk out of this home fast enough!

I typically have a great relationship with all of my clients. So, when I asked them why they fell out of love so quickly with this home they were able to express how they felt openly… They told me, “It smelled like wet dog and bleach!” We talked about asking for carpet cleaning and even a professional move-out cleaning after the sellers vacate the house. None of these options changed my clients’ mind.

What they said that day will always stick with me, because it changed my perspective. 

When buyers walk through your home, the first impression isn’t limited to the visual aspect. It’s a combination of all of their senses! When you put your home on the market, you’re not just selling a house… you are selling a lifestyle! You want buyers to walk into your home and picture their furniture, picture themselves waking up and walking to the coffee pot, and/or picture themselves watching their friends and family gather around the fire pit in the backyard while they finish setting the table for dessert! When a buyer walks into your home and feels as if they will never be able to wash this home of the past, the sale is dead before it started!

Let me say it a little louder for the people in the back…  SMELL IS INCLUDED IN A BUYER’S FIRST IMPRESSION!!!

Don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging after making you feel self-conscious about your home! Here are fixes I recommend for when you are trying to sell the home you STILL live in:

  1. SCENTSY: The wax warmers are the holy grail of scent! While you start getting your home ready before a showing, all you have to do is flip the switch and let the warmer do it’s job! This option is my favorite because it is a safer and less obnoxious than most peoples initial effort…. CANDLES. [When there is a candle burning during a showing, it leaves the impression that the sellers know there is a odor that needs to be masked. Candles stick out like a sore thumb!] Plus, there is at least one or two warmers that matches every type of home decor. Click HERE to explore all of your options! I highly recommend Kaitlyn Baria, the scent queen of NC. She knows exactly what scents work best to transform a house into a HOME. Especially if you have pets, just ask her what her professional opinion would be to help cover the less-than-desirable smell our fur-babies.
  2. WALL FLOWERS: I have a bias opinion that wall flowers from BATH & BODY WORKS are the best type of plug-in scent fairy god mothers. If you ever run into the situation where you are at work and someone wants to view your home but you won’t be able to get home to turn on your Scentsy, these plug-ins SAVE DEALS. They have seasonal scents that are to die for! They often have awesome deals to cut the cost, so stock up when you can!
  3. HVAC Vent Scent Packs: If your funds are limited, but you feel your home could use a fail-safe boost to smell better than these are a great option! I personally LOVE the “Floral” scent. You can buy these scent pods for your HVAC vent HERE. This link goes to the Vanilla scent, but they have other options!


Do you have another way to make your home SMELL welcoming to potential buyers?! Share them with me!!

-Melanie MacDonald,
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hometown, REALTORS®

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