Do Smokers’ Homes Sell for Less?
Smoking regularly can be expensive, but could it have other unexpected effects on your finances?
A recent survey of Realtors® in British Columbia revealed that 76% of Realtors® believed prospective buyers were less likely to buy a smoker’s home, and over 50% of the Realtors® surveyed said the impact of smoking in the home could decrease the property value by up to 10%.
We talked to Realtor® Barbara Robin about the impact smoking can have when it’s time to sell.
Barbara says a home that smells of smoke often invokes a strong reaction from potential buyers, and not the kind of reaction you want if you are trying to sell.
“In extreme cases, people will walk in the door and decide they don’t even want to look at the place.”
Even smokers who go outside to smoke may not realize they are bringing the smell back inside with them, and that odour can still be strong enough to leave buyers with a negative impression.
Ultimately, if the owner isn’t prepared to deal with the smell, they may find it becomes a point of negotiation, and the interested buyer will expect a reduced price based on the fact that they will have to do the work to get rid of the odour. Reduced interest in the property could also affect the sale price of the home.
How to sell for more
There is one obvious solution to this problem; get rid of the smell. Barbara says this can be time consuming, especially if the home has been smoked in for many years, but it is well worth the effort when prospective buyers come knocking.
Barbara says one of the advantages of hiring a Realtor® is they will look at your home before you put it on the market and give you a few tips on how to prepare it for viewings.
“For homes with a strong smell of smoke, I would recommend professional carpet cleaning and a thorough cleaning of other furnishings such as drapes and blinds. In some cases walls may need a repaint if scrubbing them down isn’t effective.”
Barbara’s advice – do the cleaning before you put your home on the market so you can make sure it sells more quickly and at the right price.