Smoking Inside of a House You Are Selling

United States
January 25, 2007 10:13am CST
My husband and I are smokers and we currently have our house up for sale. Several agents has bought customers in our house to look around, but some (not all) has said that they did not want to purchase the house because they smell cigarette smoke!! I have placed air freshners through out the house and removed all ash trays when people come to review the house. Do you think cigarette smoke really stops the sale of a house?
16 people like this
73 responses
• United States
26 Jan 07
i don't think that it will stop the smell on the sale of the house yet, you would really need to start opening the windows and let the smell comeout and also, for now.. start smoking outside... inside is not good.. what if oneday, you might cause a fire... better yet.. stop smoking.. :) smiles!
• United States
26 Jan 07
I am speaking personally here. I would not want to buy a house ridden with that mess. It's one thing not to know about it. But unless you have just painted,and keep some widows open. This house stinks,of smoke. Those air freshers don't do the trick and looks tacky. Is is really too hard to smoke outside till the house is sold?
1 person likes this
@chertsy (3804)
• United States
26 Jan 07
I agree. It's not hard to smoke outside. My house is brand new, and I didn't want it smelling like a chimney. I don't know why they painted and put in new carpet, except to make the house look better. But why paint, They needed to clean the walls with bleach and hot water before painting. And before putting in new carpet, hose the padding down with frebreeze. Air fresheners only says to people, there's a smell and we are trying to cover it up. There are other products by frebreeze that takes the odors out of the air. Before they can work on the problem at hand, they need to stop smoking inside the home they are trying to sell.
@leedug (920)
• United States
26 Jan 07
Wow, now that is a little ridiculous. It is not like they are coming in and breathing second hand smoke. That just goes to show how picky some people can be. You've been given lots of good suggestions here. Doing a thorough dusting and windexing all the windows also helps get rid of the smell. Even so, that is the oddest reason I have heard for someone to turn down a house ! If the new buyers are not smokers, then the smell will eventually leave.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jan 07
I truly love your comment!! Maybe I should have you as my agent. I'm sure you'll get the house sold for me!!
@sizzle3000 (3040)
• United States
26 Jan 07
I hope that the reason they did not look at the house was not because of you smoking. That would be a bad reason not to buy a house. I could understand if you are in a bad neighborhood or far from a school system. You clean the house before you move in. I think people are getting too obsesed with smoking. The people who have pets and the pets pee on the floor and in the carpets sell their houses why shouldn't you. Good luck selling your home give it time.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jan 07
I love your comment!! No our house is in a very good neighborhood and the school system is close by. We don't have thefts or broke ins around here and the UPS people leave packages on your porch all day and no one bothers it. No, the neighborhood is great, I just think non smokers are the people viewing our house. But I agree with you, if pet pee the carpet those people are still able to sell their house, this issue of smoking shouldn't be a problem.
@SignMe (1031)
• India
25 Jan 07
Yes, it is a possibility that you loose your potential customer for such reason. When somebody comes to see the house they are mostly willing to purchase if they get that first positive feeling. Bad smelling, bad omen etc could be the reasons that somebody care even though the house is good in all other aspects. So, it is better to keep the house fresh and lively for getting better price.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 07
You're right thanks
@vhansen (2029)
• United States
25 Jan 07
I hope not! We are moving to a new bigger home soon and will be putting this one for sale.I and my oldest son don't smoke,everybody else does.I don't notice the smell because I'm always around it.I'm sure we're going to have the same problem when we show this one.Thanks to this discussion I'm going to do some research and see what can be done.If I find anything helpful,I'll post it here.;-)
• United States
25 Jan 07
vhansen,yes please post it but let me know "personally"!!! I need to know now. I have gotten several things to do. Read the replies of others..they are good ones.
@djbtol (5498)
• United States
26 Jan 07
No doubt about it. Since you are smokers, you would not be aware how strong the smell of smoke is to non-smokers. Your best bet is to sell to another smoker. We bought a house once from smokers. We think they attempted to keep the smoking upstairs. The surprise we found is known as nicotine stains. This is brown stains that release from the paint in the walls. We had to cover the walls with an oil based primer to prevent the brown stains from seeping through the new paint. Hope it works out well for you.
• United States
26 Jan 07
You know i know it sounds crazy but i didnt realize how much smoke really can affect a house till i moved out from my parents house. My guy would always say he smelled smoke in our house whenever i lived their- i thought he was crazy. Now whenever i return home to visit i smell it to, and i cant stand it, plus when i moved out i had to clean all my stuff- my mattress recked of smoke! Thing was i never realized till i moved out. So my answer is yes, it can affect it, cause regardless of how many air fresheners you put out- it will take weeks to cleanse the house of the smell of smoke. I pretty much had to wash all my clothes and everything i own to get it off cause i dont smoke. So anyone who doesnt smoke- can tell the difference for sure!
• United States
26 Jan 07
Since they are banning smoking everywhere it would just seem right or make sense that someone who does'nt smoke would like to look at a home that does'nt smell like smoke.And if you have to repaint or replace carpet then you may end up getting more for you asking price.
1 person likes this
@bsabers (668)
• United States
26 Jan 07
I think if there is enough remnence of the smoke in the house that it could really hurt the sale of houses. Other than that I don't think it's a big deal.
1 person likes this
@myrith (1830)
• Canada
26 Jan 07
Rubbish, there must be other reasons they are refusing. Open the windows all the time, always let it air out, that along with the air fresheners might help....Good luck with the sale!
• United States
26 Jan 07
Well I hope you don't take offense but I will lay it on the line for you. Cig. smoke STINKS it is extremly repulsive to people who don't smoke. When you go into a home with the thought of purchasing it you try to picture feeling comfy and cozy. You can't do this if the house smells. It will absolutly affect your ability to sell your house fast. Here are some tips to sell fast. 1. Don't smoke in your home 2. Don't use overly perfumed air freshners use more apple spice types 3. Make sure your bathroom and kitchen are spotless 4. The morning of a showing bake some cookies buy the pre-made ones you only need to bake five or so at a time it just makes the house smell like "home" 5. If you don't do cookies cook food in a crock-pot like a roast this smell reminds people of home while they wonder around 6. If you have animals make sure that the box is clean and the yard is clean 7. De-clutter if you have things packed in the closets and on shelves consider boxing up most of your non-essentials and storing them doing this will make the home appear larger. Well know that I have "talked your ear off" have a great day.
• United States
26 Jan 07
I like the baking cookies idea to smel like home. That is bril!
• United States
26 Jan 07
Thanks for the comment. No you haven't talked my ear and I truly thank you for all of your tips. It somes like you're a property agent. I'll have another showing tomorrow morning, I really like the cookies idea but don't know if I will have time to do. But I will for the next showing.
• United States
26 Jan 07
My father is a broker and helped us sell and buy our homes. These are the things he taught me, I have passed this information on to friends and family for years and it really does seem to work. Good Luck.
@rhinoboy (2129)
25 Jan 07
I know people are getting really funny towards smokers nowadays, but stopping the sale of a house??! Do these people not realise that when they move in and re-paint the place, the smell will be gone forever anyway??! If ot's an issue for you and you need to get the house sold quickly, you should think about re-painting it yourselves (neutral colours like cream & beige sell houses) and stop smoking in the house until it's sold. It's a pain in the *** but if it sells the house it'll be worth it.
• United States
25 Jan 07
Thanks for the reply. My husband and I have had the entire house repainted and new carpet put in before we put our house up for sale. I agree with you, smoking in the house should not stop the sale of it. To stop smoking inside of the house is going to be hard on my husband and I because it's cold outside, but I need to come up with something!
• United States
25 Jan 07
Another thing you might want to do is get a couple air purifiers, they go along way in cleaning out the air quility in your home. Make sure that your air filters are clean in your air intakes too.
@Pigglies (9339)
• United States
26 Jan 07
It's really hard to get that smell out. You probably don't realize it if you're around the smell all the time. I bought a bicycle once from a smoker. I stored it in the garage and after a month the smell wasn't gone. It took a lot of riding (at least 100 miles) before the bike smelled better. Now imagine a house... you have a much harder time airing it out.
• United States
25 Jan 07
Unfortunately yes...it really stops the sale of the house. It is not that the buyers are choosy but it would cost much to replace the carpets and everything, especially if the buyer got kids. Even if you put air fresheners all over the house, there is still that certain smell that is prevalent. If you really want to sell that house and wanted to sell it quick, you have to replace the carpet...replace anything that absorps smoke like drapes, cloth sofa and paint the inside of the house. Just think that majority of the buyers are starter family and they don't want their kids expose to that kind of smell, especially if they are not smoker's themselves.
• United States
25 Jan 07
Thanks for the reply. I agree and non smoker does not want to smell smoke or have their kids smell it, but should that really stop the sell? My husband and I have repainted the entire house and have laid new carpet through out the house. We have no sofa's in the house just 2 card chairs and an air mattress.
• United States
26 Jan 07
Even though you have replaced the carpet and painted you continue to smoke in the house now making the new carpet and paint absorb the smell. Smokers cannot usually smell the cigerate smell as strongly as non-smokers or even casual smokers. Once a smoker quits smoking one of the first thing they notice is they can smell things better and taste things better. Cigerettes tend to dull the taste buds and the sense of smell. I never allowed anyone to smoke in my house not even my ex mother in law or ex brother in law or brother. I have asthma and my mom and daughter have allergies. My daughter just got back from her father's house where his wife smokes and her allergies are all messed up. Most non-smokers are not going to want to have to replace the carpet (even though it is new it has absorbed the smell of smoke) and repaint the walls. And even that is not a guarentee. We had a garage fire (our renters caught it on fire)) we moved back in after massive smoke damage. The house had been proffessionally cleaned and reconstructed all carpet taken out (we only have carpet in the bedrooms the rest is tile) and the venting system cleaned out and new paint in all rooms and still I can smell the smoke every once in awhile. Smoke is hard to get out. your best bet is to pray for a smoker to buy your house.
• United States
25 Jan 07
I know it was very hard for us to buy our last house that we just sold because someone had smoked inside of it. When we bought it we ripped up the carpets,painted and aired out the house for days. It does stop sales of houses and when we sold our house after everything it was on the market for 2 weeks and then it was sold once they walked into it.
• United States
25 Jan 07
Thanks, I starting to learn that the smoking really does affect the sale of a house, but I just could believe it.
• United States
25 Jan 07
another reason why we should not smoke...it makes everything smoking...;)
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 07
No, I think that is just an excuse because with paint, airing out, and replacing things the smoke smell will be gone. However it is definitly not something that would help sell a house. I am not a smoker, my husband is. He goes outside to smoke now that I am pregnant and I do not like the smell myself. I think it is just gross. However, I am not a freak about it...the smell goes away. If I loved a house, I would buy it no matter what. Maybe while you guys are trying to sell, smoke by a window or outside? I know you may not notice the smell, but non-smokers can pick it up right away.
• United States
25 Jan 07
Thanks Celestial, I'm smoking by an opened window right now. May God the birth of your wonderful baby.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 07
Thank you! And good luck on your selling of your house! I am sure the right people will come along and buy it!
• Ireland
25 Jan 07
I just sold our house last year an myself and my husband smoke like chimneys. We had to paint the whole house before we put it up for sale as all the ceilings and walls had gone brown from our smoking. I lit scented candles in the house before a prospective buyer came to view it, and I smoked outside the backdoor before they arrived so that they couldn't smell the smoke. I think maybe your estate agent was just looking for excuses when he said people wouldn't buy your house due to the smell of smoke. I can't honestly say that this would put somebody off if they really wanted the house. Good luck with the sale.
• United States
25 Jan 07
Thanks Alexandria. My husband and I had the entire house repainted and new carpet put in before we put our house up for sale, because you're right the smoke does discolor walls.
@TammyL (39)
• United States
26 Jan 07
I agree, I don't think it will stop the sale. However as everyone has stated there are some things you can do and should do to mask the smell. The agent wasn't making an excuse, he was over doing it. My sister has a flair for the dramatic too. Just mask the smell and try not to turn the walls brown before you get a buyer :)
@globell45 (143)
• United States
25 Jan 07
I think that was just an excuse. I have owned my home for 8 yrs. now and let me tell you, I smoked the first 3-4 yrs. in it. 5 yrs. ago, I quit smoking and now you can't tell that there ever was a smoker inmy house. Every one who smokes tells me how nice myhouse smells. They couldn't believe I quit until after they came in and smelt the house. The smoke smell does go after a while, so that isn't a good excuse for a buyer. And now I don't allow smoking in myhome. 1) I don't ever want to be tempted again 2) I have children and pets that don't need to smell smoke 3) the smell makes me sick to my stomach. A couple of people have tried and I just politely tell them to smoke outside. Once the smoke is gone from your house, you don't want it back. You don't realize how awful it smells until its gone.
• United States
25 Jan 07
Thanks for the reply globell, and I'm glad that you have stopped smoking because it's really not good for anyone to do. I agree that it's just an excuse for the buyers, if they really wanted to purchase our house they would.
@chertsy (3804)
• United States
26 Jan 07
No I don't think it was an excuse. I smoke, and when my husband and I was looking at houses. I got turned off by one that smelt like a chimney. I don't want to spend the extra money of having to get the smell out. Even with a new paint job, if you still smoke inside til you moved out. You already started the effect on the walls. Don't get me started on the carpet. I don't want my kids laying down on the carpet and having to smell that. Just stop smoking til the home is sold. I'm sorry it doesn't hurt to smoke outside til you have cash in hand.
• Romania
26 Jan 07
These people that acusse you for smoking should be shot.Why are they so annoyed?
• United States
26 Jan 07
I love you comment!!!
• Romania
26 Jan 07
NO WAY ! THAT's bull i mean it's not like the house is a cancer hole !:))
• United States
26 Jan 07
Thanks akamakavely, you're GREAT!