The first thing I notice when I walk into a house  is the smell, and it usually determines my attitude toward the home. If a homeowner has too many plug ins or artificial scents,  I go turn them off for a few minutes in order to smell what’s going on.
The basement is a key indicator of any mold, cracks, or water leaks. Sometimes you can smell these things when you open the door to the house, or are at the foot of basement stairs. If I can smell it from the front door, that is a bad sign you have some issues. You might also be able to smell gas, and fumes coming from the furnace. I walked into a showing one time, and the place smelled like gas. The owner really had no clue that the furnace was leaking some gas, very faint. One spark, and that house would have been lit up for us all.
Smells in the house can also determine how the owner takes care of the house. You can generally smell whether or not furniture, or closets are normally kept clean, or if they are just being quickly cleaned for a showing, and are trying to mask the true smell. You can smell if there are pets in the house, and whether or not those pets have damaged the floors by peeing on them. You can also smell if the owner has not cleaned up a mess properly, and is just using water and not disinfecting it properly.
Outside of the house, you can also use odor to detect how the owner takes care of the greens, plants and bush. The greens should smell fresh, like a golf club, not smell like a marsh, which has a dry dead smell.
The attic like the basement is generally where light bulbs go off when using your nose to detect mold, and water leaks. The smells are very clear, and you sometimes don’t even have to go in to smell the wood rotting.
When selling a house, make sure that you are cleaning the house properly, and fixing any issues that may arise during a home inspection. Don’t just try to mask the problem. You may have to use ozone, and get a professional to come in and remove bad smells.

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