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Honey, I promise I’m not cheating on you!

Home sellers, please stop making your home smell like the perfume counter at Macy's. Please do make your home smell nice, but just don't overdo it.

I walked into a house last night with a couple and we all almost passed out because the smell of flowers was overwhelming. It was so overwhelming that I had headache the rest of the night. If you ask me about the house, I won't be able to tell you a thing about it, besides the smell, which is all I remember about it.

I did e-mail the other agent and told him our feedback, but I never did get a response from him either way.

I have had homes where the smell is so bad from pets and mildew, and that is not good either. But if you are a home seller find a middle ground. You might be offending just as many people making the home smell of flowers as the person with 50 cats, if you overdo it.

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)


At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.


Reach out today, we look forward to talking with you!


Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)



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Comment balloon 22 commentsRespect Realty LLC • July 20 2007 12:50PM


Great idea. Tell them to bake cookies. If they don't want the cookies,send them to me . I will put them to good use. Hope you do alot of showings.

Shaun :)

Posted by SHAUN WREN (LICENSE IS NOT PLACED) almost 12 years ago

Cookies!  Yeah, that's the secret! Ummmmmh! 


Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc. 

Posted by R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham, Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286) (Bank of England (NMLS#418481)) almost 12 years ago
Good point. Too much of a 'good thing' is not a good thing. An overwhelming 'good' smell can be just as much of a turn off as a 'bad' smell. It can also make a buyer what are you trying to hide?
Posted by Melissa Nottingham, WV Real Estate Agent (Coldwell Banker Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Bob- I will share the cookies. But, Remember, It was my idea.
Posted by SHAUN WREN (LICENSE IS NOT PLACED) almost 12 years ago
Hi Todd.  You are 5,000% correct!  Too much of a scent, however nice is may be, can be a turn off.  I do believe a nice fresh scented home makes for a nicer home showing.   I guess it's a matter of finding that right scent.
Posted by Venice Harris, Real Estate Agent - Conyers, GA (EXP Realty) almost 12 years ago

Smell and sometimes lack of, is one of my biggest complaints in an empty house. Often the house is full of dead air with little to no smell at all. A home has a smell (hopefully good.) Our favorite "smell" trick in the bathroom is to open a fresh bar of Irish Spring -Icy Blast to leave in the shower, Has a clean fresh smell that will last, without overpowering, even if the house is empty.

Wonder if they sell fabreze in 5 gallon drums for the rest of the houses? Realtors need to address the overkill with their clients before listing the property. better yet-have the staging company do it!

Good topi. Thanks for the post. 



Posted by Cheri Dueker, Transitional Designs, LLC, Home Staging St. Louis (Transitional Designs, LLC) almost 12 years ago
I always tell clients the home should not smell at all, not like flowers, candles, cookies or anything else.  Just open the windows and let it air out.  Having the carpets professionally cleaned can also help a ton.  
Posted by Maureen Maureen almost 12 years ago
Maureen is right.  The best thing to smell is nothing at all.  You never know how people will react to certain smells. The scent of cinnamon gives me a migraine and I know many people with asthma who cannot handle perfumes at all.  Keep it clean and light.
Posted by Kimberly Wester almost 12 years ago
ugh, that could definitely ruin the day for people. But seriously, what was going through their mind to make it smell like that? I hate going into a house like that, it feels like it just clogs my lungs and I can't breathe. Granted, I very rarely go into a house with my clients since I'm financing the home but I do have clients that will ask me to come with them and their agent so I can give them my opinion on their purchase (those are typically people I know  a little more personally) but smells like that drive me nuts. 
Posted by Rick Grand (nowhere) almost 12 years ago


Hey. I have a suggestion for Seller's. Have them bake cookies instead of spraying what ever it is they spray. Ooops. Someone already said that. Oh well. At least you'll have a variety of opionions ...

To bake or not to bake...That is the question :)

By the way...There is a lady at our church whose perfume gives me a headache.

I am actually glad to find out I am not the only one who gets headaches from cheap perfume :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) almost 12 years ago
OK, that title is just funny.  I like the wall flowers at Bath and Body Works and the Room sprays too.   Maybe they spilled it trying to throw it away! 
Posted by Cindy Richter, IRIS Dallas, TX Home Stager (Interior Motiv Home Staging) almost 12 years ago

TLW-Thanks for remindin them to bake cookies. You forgot the part about sending me the extras.

Shaun Wren

Posted by SHAUN WREN (LICENSE IS NOT PLACED) almost 12 years ago

Some of the best things to use to make a house smell inviting are:  some vanilla extract heated in the microwave;  cookies or an apple pie baking in the oven; cinnamon sticks in water heated in the microwave.  For tough odors, there's a great product called Pure's safe to use around pets and people, is enzyme-based, and has no real odor of its own.....but it destroys all other bad odors.  You can find it at Thriftway stores or online at


Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging that Sells Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) almost 12 years ago
There is a solution called Lampe Berger. This has a neutarlizing oil that takes away most smells and leaves no strong smell to annoy a buyer. I love mine!
Posted by Nicola Lindsay, CRSS (Nicola Lindsay ReDesign and Home Staging) almost 12 years ago

My friends, be careful. 

Play music at an open house, and the newly educated buyer thinks what, are we near a school?  a highway?  a firehouse?

Bake cookies and the newly cynical-yet educated buyer thinks, oy, is this covering up mould?  Has the EPA been in?

Paint the basement just as the buyer's coming up the pathway and they're wondering if you had flood insurance.

Our buyers are becoming more sophisticate daily; for them life is no longer a bowl of dangleberries! (I guess;  it's this blog's graphic!)

Posted by Juliet Johnson, Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing (Vizzitopia) almost 12 years ago
I have major allergies, so I don't want the house to smell like "anything" noticeable...just neutral.  I am a big fan of vanilla.
Posted by Lori Hakeem Oxley (Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Thank you everyone,

I will respond to each of you when I get the internet back. I'm a Starbucks paying $5 per hour to be online. In the move Verizon didn't wire our internet right and we have no connection - OH THE HUMANITY!

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) almost 12 years ago

Dangleberry's?? I wonder what THEY smell like??

It's tough to have a home not smell at all. People live in it..cook in it...bake in it :)..."other smelly stuff" , yup, air it out....use an air filter if necessary...and if you need to cover up a garlic smell or something...I agree that vanilla is the way to go.


Posted by Julia Fedak, IRIS, CSP (Platinum Home Designs ) almost 12 years ago


This is what I suggest to my clients. Bake cookies, how do you think I have gained so much weight in the last few years. (LOL)


Bob - I'm starting to think the secret maybe having Oprah say what a great house it is.


Melissa - Good point, I didn't even think that they may be trying to hide something else.


Venice - I don't think there is any right sent, just not to much of any one thing. What may smell good to one, maybe a turn off to another, just as the color of paint can turn a buyer off.


Cheri - We just bought a brand new investment property and I have never opened Irish Springs - WOW! You were not kidding! Just based on your comment, I had to go buy some. Smells real nice in my man bath now - lol


Maureen - The biggest problem I have with carpets being cleaned is usually the clients that need this the most have pets and the pets mark their territory as soon as the carpets are cleaned and the owners just can't smell it.


Kimberly - I'm one of those with Asthma that reacts to the smallest of things. I never had to carry medication with me until I took on this career. Never thought about the smell of homes setting it off, just thought it was age and the fact that I wasn't running anymore.


Rick - Can you give me a letter to give to the sellers saying "The smell of your house has caused the appraiser to lower the value by $5,000"?


TLW - OH cheap perfume, I just thought it was the cheap girls that were giving me the headaches. Didn't realize it was what they were wearing "Ode to Easy" - ROFL


Cindy - Nope they didn't spill it, it was everywhere. Unless they were trying to take it from the upstairs out to the garbage can while drunk and spilled it all the way down the stairs and through the kitchen.


Nicola - I'm ordering some, just to try it. Thanks for the heads up.


Juliet - I'm with Julie...What does a dangleberry smell like? - lol


Lori - Vanilla doesn't bother your allergies? I guess I'm worse then. My eyes start to water and get bloodshot if there is to much vanilla in a house.


Thanks everyone for stopping by and I am borrowing the neighbors internet until ours is installed on the 30th. (And yes I am paying him)




Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) almost 12 years ago
What!  No internet til the 30th!  How will you live!  Great subject here...I personally am not a fan of the cookie thing.  If a buyer is noticing a smell of any kind (good or bad) it is distracting them from the home itself.  Neuralize whatever smells there might be, and let them view the home with their eyes, not their nose.
Posted by Susan Smith (Rooms That Work LLC) almost 12 years ago

Susan - We were supposed to have in upon move in, but when we got here...HMMMM no Internet. We called and said sorry we had to reschedule and when we couldn't get a hold of you we just cancelled. Next appointment the 30th. Really stupid, since it was their fault.


Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) almost 12 years ago
Ahhhh, well, good luck with it.  Who knows...maybe it's healthy to get a break from it! ;)
Posted by Susan Smith (Rooms That Work LLC) almost 12 years ago

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