When we were looking at houses one we looked at was completely empty and looked well kept up the carpets were very obviously recently cleaned. BUT. It reeked of dog, wet dog. It was over powering, and triggered my allergies. I'm pretty sure tha only way to fix it would be to rip out all the carpets, because they looked perfectly clean but what a smell.
Then there was the place that was a rental property, and the renters fairly obviously didn't care how fast it sold because it was a pigsty and about a 1/4 of the light bulbs were burnt out.
I have a family member who is planning on putting her home on the market in the next couple of weeks, or so I've been told. BG: she owns a townhouse, as does her less-than-a-year husband. She just retired from the military; he will be next year. The plan is to sell her house now, move and live in his, while they build their retirement home in another state. then sell his, and move there. All of this has to be done now, beacuse she gets one move with the military, but has to be done within a year.
She has cats. Four. and has fostered a whole bunch over the last few years, sometimes having as many as 8 or 9. She used to not allow them in her two guest bedrooms, but she changed one into a closet, so the cats then went into the other. Which reeks of cat. not pee or litterbox, but just cat funk. kind of like dog smell.
She also borders on being a hoarder. Her brother, who has much more common sense than she does, suggested she/they a. move everything out of both houses, down to where they plan to live, and put it in storage. Then rip up all the carpet, and put down new, and have someone come in and give the house a thoroough cleaning from top to bottom, before she even lists is. And then hire someone to stage it. yes it will cost her, but in the end, probably worth it.
But she's cheap, and doesn't see the need. Carpet? she'll give them an allowance. and as for cleaning, well, she can do that. Sigh. I suspect she will be in for a very rude awakening, esp since she seems to think she can get top dollar. um no, never been updated, renovated, etc. while its a nice place, its a bit tired, and dirty.
we also don't see how she can do all this and list in the next 10 days. But, not my circus, not my monkeys.