Beware of Homes That Smell Too Clean
December 23, 2021
Beware of a home that smells too clean. That warning comes from a real estate agent who posted a recent TikTok video, under her username @capecchiandco, that has since gone viral and been widely covered by the media. She shared how a bleach smell can be a red flag when touring homes for sale. It’s a lesson her buyers learned a few years ago after purchasing a home with a very strong chlorine-like smell.
“Every time we went there, it had a strong chlorine smell,” she said in the TikTok video. “So you’re kind of like, ‘What is [the homeowner] trying to cover up here?’”
The buyers had a home inspection but it didn’t turn up anything major. They assumed the potent, clean smell was the result of the owners getting the house extra cleaning for showings.
It wasn’t until after the buyers closed on the home that they discovered why the bleach smell had been so strong and what it had been covering up.
The subfloors were completely soaked in animal urine from the previous owners’ pets.
The agent says the new owners ended up having to replace all of the floors, subfloors, and trim.
The agent’s warning to others: Next time you tour a home listing with a strong chlorine-like scent, take that as a red flag and find out why before you buy.
Her TikTok post has been viewed more than 128,000 times and has more than 200 comments.
“I’m an Estate Agent—If a Place You Look at Always Smells ‘Clean’ and Like Bleach, It Might Be Really Bad News,” New York Post (Dec. 20, 2021); “Why a Home Listing With a ‘Clean’ Smell Might Be Bad, According to a Real Estate Agent,” House Beautiful (Dec. 21, 2021)
Updated: May 23, 2022