Cigarette smell: The hidden killer of your home’s selling price

August 16th, 2018

Smoke out this problem before it impacts your home’s value

So, you’re ready to sell your home. You’ve got everything spruced up and ready to show to prospective buyers. However, there’s one seemingly small thing that could affect your home’s value: the lingering smell of cigarettes.

The telltale cigarette smell can have a significant impact on your home’s value. Realtor.com has shown that it could lower your home’s sale price by as much as 29 percent. That’s $87,000 on a $300,000 home. A $500,000 home would be worth $145,000 less because of persistent smoke odors.

In order to eliminate the odor of cigarettes from your home, there are a few things you can do. The first is a thorough cleaning of all surfaces, including walls and carpeting. The cigarette smell also clings to ceilings and fabrics, such as curtains and bedding. For the ceilings and walls, a water/vinegar mixture of 3:1 will remove cigarette odor. Use baking soda to remove smoke odor from fabrics and carpeting.

Next, have your HVAC system professionally cleaned. No matter how clean your house is, the odor will continue to circulate through your air ducts. Be sure to change the filter and wipe down all return and supply vents.

Don’t try to take the cheap route and use air fresheners. Buyers will be suspicious and usually, air fresheners don’t completely mask the smell of cigarettes anyway. The only way to assure a buyer that there isn’t any cigarette smoke odor is to get rid of it entirely before you put your home on the market.

When selling a home, it’s important to address anything that could impact its sale value, and  cigarette smoke smell is certainly one of those factors. While it will take some extra time and money, the investment is well worth it.