John's Florida Real Estate Blog


Sellers, Don't "Gas" Buyers When They Tour Your Home By Filling It With Mothballs

Today another agent from our office showed one of my homes to a potential buyer. The buyer was very pleased with the home, its layout, the furnishings that were included, and the subdivision. However, she and the agent were practically driven out of the home. Why??

The home is vacant, and following an "old wives' tale" that spreads within many of the seasonal subdivisions, these owners had spread moth balls everywhere throughout the home. They did this thinking it would keep critters out of the home while they were away. The truth is it keeps more buyers away than it does cockroaches and moths. In a 90º home that has been shut up during a Florida summer the smell becomes overpowering. And if a person has breathing or eye problems, it can cause physical discomfort. Not really what you want potential buyers to experience in a home you want to sell badly.

In a past post I titled "Smell Your House, or Sell Your House" I expounded on the problems offensive smells can cause in a home. In this case, the owners would be better off cleaning up all food traces that could attract pests and spraying around the interior and exterior walls with a product like Home Devense by Ortho, or putting out bait traps for roaches and ants. You can also consider having a profession exterminator treat your home just before you leave. In reality, a couple of dead bugs on the floor do not put people off that much in a vacant home. Most people realize that one or two will get in and die there. Of course if you leave the home a mess and do no spraying, live bugs running all over the place will send the buyers out the door in a second. So DO clean and DO spray before you leave for the summer. But DO NOT put out potent mothballs. Instead of killing moths, you will kill potential deals.

For more information or questions about this topic please call me at: 813-783-4444 or e-mail me at:

John Elwell - REALTOR


Bill Nye Realty, Inc.


Licensed in Florida


Comment balloon 8 commentsJohn Elwell • September 13 2007 09:01PM
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