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December 6, 2007

Do You Smell That?

Filed under: Real Estate: Condominiums — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:11 am

There can be no doubt that there is a link between smell and memory, smell and emotion, as well as a connection between the smell of a Philadelphia condo and how you feel about that particular Center City condominium.  The links between the two are strong, even though the smell may not be too severe. And often times, a seller of a particular, say Society Hill condo may be the worst judge of how his or her condominium may come off to a buyers olfactory sense.

I was in the basement of a new construction high rise condo building the other day. Happily showing my potential Philadelphia condominium buyer around, when we came across a community room that was located in the lower level of this new building. And wham! It hit. A really dungy, damp, almost swamp like feeling. It was not pretty. And my usually talkative buyer clammed up. Something was wrong, and it needed some attention. What was it? Did I say something offensive?

No, it was the smell. It smelled like a place that I certainly didn’t want to be, and I could read my buyer’s expression from across the room. These new Philadelphia condominiums were located in a building that had common areas that smelled like hell. It certainly did cast a pall on the potential excitement that this gym/community room could elicit. My buyer knew that this was an area she would be avoiding. And not that it expressly killed her enthusiasm about the building, but it was indeed a negative.

Seller are often too close, or too used to a smell to recognize the negativity associated with such an olfactory “turnoff”. I mean, we all know when we step in dog poop, and get into our car, or our house. It is a foreign smell that wasn’t there the day before. But if your Philadelphia loft has say a basic “dog smell” because your big fluffy dog likes to roll around on the couch when he or she is wet from going out in the rain, that could be a problem. Because though ingrained in your brain as something you are familiar with on a daily basis, Mr. and Mrs. Rittenhouse Square Condominium buyer can quickly and easily be turned off by such a foreign scent.

TO THIS DAY, I will never forget a home I toured back in the early 1990’s. A lovely condo at 19th and Spruce Streets. It smelled great. It smelled like the kind of home I would want to live in. I wanted to curl up on that couch, and stay. It was such a warm, nice, clean scent, that to this day, I still think fondly of that condominium unit. I am sure the sellers, and their smell are long gone, but the emotion that the unit conveyed was memorable. I still speak highly of that condominium.

Bad smells are turn offs. Good smells can linger in one’s brain for a long long time. And many Philadelphia condominium owners do not know the difference. Bad smell can easily spell trouble. My suggestion. Ask. Ask a friend, a potential listing agent for your condo, or a family member. And ask them to be honest, because there are few greater turnoffs than a bad odor coming from your condo unit!

Looking to sniff out a great deal? Ask Mark to help you…..give him a call at 215.521.1523 or send him an email at

Mark Wade
Prudential Fox and Roach REALTORS®
530 Walnut St., Suite 260 Philadelphia, PA 19106

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