Tune Virtual Buyers Into a Home’s Scent

June 12, 2020

Virtual tours and video walk-throughs of properties have become commonplace during the recovery from the pandemic. But that means real estate professionals have to be not only home buyers’ eyes and ears but their noses too, as they walk prospective buyers through homes via video calls.

The smell of a home adds to an overall impression of a property. And more real estate agents say they’re fielding questions about that from buyers who can’t be there.

Realtor.com® recently featured several types of smells that real estate pros will want to be aware of as they introduce buyers to properties remotely.

For example, do you notice any pet odors?

“While doing in-person tours, the most common odor complaint we get is pet odors—by a wide margin,” John Gluch, a real estate professional and founder of the Gluch Group in Scottsdale, Ariz., told realtor.com®. Be aware of lingering pet-related odors that you might need to potentially call out to your remote buyers.

Cigarette odors could also be a deal breaker for some buyers. The odor can linger on carpets, rugs, walls, drapes, and ceilings. “Ceilings can be the biggest culprit in a persisting smoke smell in a home, as cigarette smoke tends to travel upward and latch onto the first surface it comes in contact with,” Jack White, vice president of technical services at Rainbow International Restoration, told realtor.com®.

Also, consider mildew or musty odors that could signal a mold issue. Real estate pros say that’s a common question they’ll get from clients watching remotely as they enter a basement: Does it have a musty odor?

Gluch encourages his clients to ask such details on video showings. “I encourage clients to ask their agents to give them the pure, unvarnished truth when doing a video tour,” he says. “That way, everyone can avoid wasting lots of time and energy on a house that the client will end up halting when they finally visit in person.”