5 Home Smells that Buyers Hate

September 23, 2017

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Selling your home is a tricky business.

First, you have to lure the buyers to come see your home. Curb appeal, pricing, and marketing all play a part. But what if they come to see your home and won’t even look around?

Buyers will walk out of your home if they detect any of these unpleasant smells.

  1. Smoke – Cigarette smoke is a giant red flag for buyers. If you smoke in your home, or allow others to do so, the smoke smell permeates the flooring, window treatments, and even the paint. Buyers instantly imagine all the work they’re going to have to do to get rid of the smell and, for many, that’s enough to make them walk away.
  2. Mold and Mildew – If you have a serious mold problem, you need to consult a professional to remediate it. No buyer will buy your home if there is mold. But if you have a load of laundry that you forgot to put in the dryer, a sink that drains slowly, or maybe some wet towels laying around, that can produce enough of a smell to turn buyers away.
  3. Strong cooking odors – Fish, cabbage, onions, garlic, sauerkraut, and curry are the biggest turnoffs, but these smells don’t linger more than a few days.
  4. Pets – If you have a cat or a dog, you probably are unaware of how they smell. Even the most meticulously groomed dog or the most carefully cleaned litter box can create unpleasant smells in your home.
  5. Perfumes – Many people are sensitive to spray air fresheners. Additionally, when buyers detect the smell of air fresheners, they know that you’re covering up something unpleasant.

So what’s a homeowner to do?


There are several air purifiers on the market that may help. Here are our top 5.

Germ Guardian AC4825 – This air purifier has a HEPA filter, a charcoal filter, and UV light technology. It uses a 22 inch 3 speed tower and retails for $89.99. It stands 21 inches tall.

Levoit Air Purifier – This air purifier has a HEPA filter and a carbon filter. It has 3 speed settings which gives you the option to adjust it for various conditions and also has a night light. It’s more compact than other purifiers at only 14.6 inches in height and retails for $89.90.

Oion B-100 Permanent Filter Ionic Air Purifier – This compact air filter is only 17 inches tall and weighs only 3.8 pounds. It also works without a filter that needs to be replaced. It works with carbon to eliminate odors and negative ions that remove airborne pollutants rather than a filter. It also has UV to kill germs. It retails for $49.95.

Gideon Air Purifier – This product also has a permanent filter which never needs replacing and has UV to kill germs. Odors are eliminated with an ion purifier. It is only 10.1 inches tall and retails for $39.95.

PureZone 3-in-1 Air Purifier – This product uses a HEPA filter and a UV light. It also has a 3 speed fan to adjust the air filter for various conditions and an automatic timer. It is 12.1 inches high. It retails for $99.99.