Winter is the worst time for me when showing homes that are all closed up with likely very little fresh air movement within. As I mentioned before, there is a very primitive area of our brains that control memory, and believe me, that area has memory greater than an elephant’s. Perhaps I could rent myself out and become a “name that smell” person. I still laugh to myself when walking into a home not long ago which was all closed up and as soon as I entered the home, I said to the buyers, “What is that smell?” The primitive area of my brain started working and just as I realized what that smell was and started to say what it was, the buyer cried out, “I found your smell!” He found the dead mouse in the kitchen just as I was starting to say, “It smells like there is a dead mouse in here.” We laughed to the point of tears. I showed four homes today and as I’m writing this article I can tell you the most prominent smell of each of them; and by the way, every one of them were vacant. The first one had an overpowering smell of animals. The second one had a strong smell of anti-freeze and wood due to it having a large amount of unsealed wood in the home as well as anti-freeze in the toilets and sink traps. The third one had the strongest smell of old carpets as well as their decomposing carpet pads. They really do give off an odor! The last one just smelled terribly dirty. Dirty homes really do have an odor.
Someone told me long ago that she never really looked for the dirt because she could smell it. My great aunt who was extremely old when I was very young had a big four square home out in the country which I remember far more than would be expected. She lost her husband some years before yet she continued to live on her farm and take care of her chickens and outside cats. I speak of her because whenever I would walk into her home I could smell clean. Likely her clean was using lemon oil on her woodwork and furniture as well as simple but effective cleaning agents like vinegar and bleach and ammonia where needed. Grand homes as well as simple homes need only the basics to keep them clean. I despise walking into homes that have plug-in air fresheners in nearly every room. I always think someone is trying to cover up a lingering odor. Scented candles make my nose run as well as carpet fresheners. If we would work at going back to the basics and keep our homes naturally clean, we wouldn’t be spending so much money to camouflage an odor that we should be working at removing. Let’s all work at removing bad scents and stop making scents. Every clean home has its own delightful smell. I was in a home several days ago that smelled like someone just popped some corn—it made me hungry.