Not sure if it is “let’s talk about smoking” season but we have heard and read numerous articles recently discussing the effects that cigarette smoke can have on home values.
When REALTORS go into a home to discuss listing, one concept often talked about is “depersonalizing” the home. The idea being to allow the buyer to see themselves in the home, a process made easier without looking at 27 family photos on the living room wall.
So, let’s remove all the family photos. Take down the kid’s art off of the kitchen. I know…how insensitive. Remove the Bieber and Taylor Swift posters off the bedroom wall and paint out that bright fuchsia colour. Once all of this home sterilizing is complete what to do if the home in question has also been smoked in since the mid 1980s?
If the buyers are non-smokers, which these days, is highly likely, how will they get past the effects of the decades of smoking. You can remove family photos, take down art work and de-personalize the home all day long but the fact remains that the cigarette smoke will continue to be a huge factor.
So, what to do? Well, the buyers are pretty much guaranteed to factor the effects of cigarette smoking into any offer that they may submit. Minimizing the effects is going to be all that you can do. Cleaning and painting walls are a great start. Removing curtains is a good idea as well. If the home is vacant or if there is an option to sell the home when vacant, the removal of the contents will go a long way to clearing out some of the items that are holding the smell.
The fact is unavoidable though. Smoking in the home is going to cost market value. The amount varies but it is sizeable. A recent article by Mark Weisleder in The Toronto Star (Full Article Here) quotes a value loss of up to 30%.
One thing we often hear from sellers that smoke is that they ‘only smoke in the garage’ or outside. We can tell you that after nearly 25 years of combined home showing that buyers can still smell the smoke. Whether it is on coats in the closet or following the smoker back in the door, the smell of the smoke still lingers.
When selling a home, all you can do is try to minimize the effects. There are other creative options available and worth discussing as well. If you are looking to sell a home that has been smoked in over the years, feel free to contact us. We would be glad to meet and discuss some options and our suggestions for maximizing the value.
Thank-you for visiting.