No smoking in real estate is a rule of thumb that all residential sellers must remember to respect during the sales process. In essence, once you place your home up for sale, it becomes a commodity. Therefore, you must not do anything to jeopardize the value of this asset, especially since the real estate industry is a highly competitive marketplace.
Smoking inside a home creates several problems for sellers and buyers alike. Since it is already difficult to arrange all the compromises that must be accepted between buyers and sellers, adding this additional negative factor might be all it takes to break the deal.
This crucial essay provides guidance on setting smoking rules in any piece of saleable property. Furthermore, we will discuss how to rectify smoking-related damage in any house or apartment, in order to please prospective buyers.
Reasons for No Smoking in Real Estate
Smoking is a tremendous turn-off to most people. Smoking is known to create serious health risks, including emphysema, allergies, cancer and COPD. Smoking also sets a bad example for children, in terms of embracing a dangerous vice.
Smoking is a vile habit that leaves telltale evidence of its occurrence in the form of both odors and smoke stains on virtually every light-colored surface. Buyers will not overlook these negative factors and will certainly rate the property much lower if smoking has occurred within.
The smell of smoke will linger for an extended time frame from occasional smoking. Meanwhile in the homes of frequent smokers, the odor will remain forever, until purged through a variety of difficult and sometimes expensive remedies.
The visual evidence of smoking will cause light colored paints to yellow and will leave brown stains on ceilings and walls where heavy smoking occurs.
All of these factors are true regardless of what substance is smoked, including cigarettes, cigars or herbal preparations. Remember, it is the process of burning anything that leaves this unappealing evidence for potential buyers to notice. Statistics clearly show that a cigarette smoke smell in a home is one of the top ten negative property ratings criteria cited by active buyers the world over.
No Smoking Rules
I always tell my clients that they should not smoke at all. It is a dangerous, disgusting habit that has no saving grace. However, if they choose to pursue a slow death anyway, I implore them to at least cease smoking inside while their home remains for sale.
I have actually walked away from a few clients who simply did not get the message and continued to smoke while I was evaluating their property. If a client is that clueless, then they do not deserve any help in selling. Anyway, these types of clients will not benefit much from even the best staging, since they are their own worst enemies.
Clients who agree to smoke outdoors, or elsewhere, make much better real estate sellers. These are people who recognize the value of compromise and will do whatever it takes to transform their property to enjoy universal appeal.
Therefore, I suggest that smokers cease and desist immediately, as soon as they decide to place their homes on the open market, for sale or for rental. This same rule should apply to everyone within the residence, regardless of whether they live there, visit there or rent space therein. Any violation of this rule will basically render the entire strategy of cleaning up the home of all smoking evidence to be a complete waste of time, money and effort.
No Smoking in Real Estate / Fixing the Damage
Now that smoking has stopped inside the house, it is time to find and fix the damage caused by past smoking. To this end, I highly recommend implementing the following list of actions before ever placing the house on the competitive market with a listing agent:
Smoke stains should be identified using bright lights and corrected with fresh paint. Pay special attention to walls, ceilings, moldings, doors and other light-colored features throughout the house or apartment, but focus strongly on rooms that are used for smoking.
Locate the source of any lingering odors and remedy them. Carpets are the worst offenders, with smoke-saturated flooring requiring massive cleaning or replacement. Likewise, curtains and draperies hold smoke odors, as does bedding and furniture. Basically, any soft material will acquire a terrible smell and must be cleaned professionally or discarded.
Be sure to clean up the outside of the home and do not allow cigarette waste to accumulate. There is nothing worse than walking up to a promising listing and seeing dozens of cigarette filters and half-smoked butts all over the property. This alone will make many buyers want to turn around and leave. I know that I would.
Smokers are numb to the sights and smells of cigarettes. Therefore, they will need to enlist the help of a nonsmoker to assist them in achieving the above recommendations. The best person for the job is someone who absolutely despises smoking, since they will be very thorough in their quest to rid the home of any trace evidence that will spoil the sales prospects of the property.