It isn’t too often these days that you enter a home and are overwhelmed with a blue cloud of tobacco smoke. But smokers are still out there and some still do smoke in their homes. If you’re one of these homeowners and you’re thinking about placing your home on the market, you’ll need to take some measures first to ensure that the smoke odours in your home don’t turn off prospective buyers.
Aside from the negative impacts on one’s health, a home that smells of cigarette or cigar smoke hits you in the wallet too. Homes that have been heavily smoked in often take two to three times longer to sell and will often fetch five to 15 per cent less than a home that doesn’t have smoke stains or a pervasive odour, according to the website quitsmoking.com. When it comes to home insurance, most companies agree that smokers are at greater risk for having fire, Premiums are usually higher when there are smokers living in a home. Alternatively, non-smokers get a discount, anywhere from two to 10 per cent.
If the challenge of kicking the habit is too much to take on, before you put your home up for sale start limiting your smoking to outside the home and take extra steps to deodorize indoors.
This is not a task for a can of aerosol air freshener. Start by opening as many windows as possible for as much of the day as possible. Think about investing in an air purifier or borrowing one if you can. You can spend anywhere from $100 – $1,000 on one but it’s something you will get plenty of use out of. Run the air purifier in different rooms of the house in 12-hour intervals.
As for the walls and ceilings, they’ll have to be scoured, rinsed, dried and then sealed with a specialized primer paint to prevent nicotine from seeping through the fresh coats of paint overnight. Cabinets, drawers, closets, furnace ductwork, filters, windows, closets, ceiling fans and light fixtures will need to be cleaned off and bulbs replaced.
And finally, take down drapes and curtains and have them professionally cleaned. Have someone come in to clean your carpets and furniture or do it yourself.
Remember, though it may seem expensive and like a lot of work, do some math. What is 15 per cent of your home’s price? It’s better to spend a couple hundred dollars now in order to make thousands more on your home sale.