Even under the best conditions, selling a home can be tough, and selling a home that’s been exposed to years of damage from cigarette smoke can feel nearly impossible. Surveys have found that smoking can reduce a home’s value by up to 30%, and 27% of home buyers refuse to even consider buying a smoker home. To help beat the odds, here’s seven tips to help repair the damage done by cigarettes and make a home suitable to sell.
1. Stop smoking in the home.
As soon as a homeowner knows they’re going to try to sell their home, they need to stop smoking indoors. The road to cleaning a smoke-damaged home is very long, and continuing to smoke inside is going make it all the harder.
2. Air out the home and furniture.
Open the windows and doors, take the upholstered furniture outside, and let the breeze get in. Airing out is by no means a lasting solution to removing the smell of smoke from a home, be it in Legacy Ridge or elsewhere, but it’s a good start. Upholstered furniture ought to be cleaned deeply as well, as shampooing them can eliminate some of the odors trapped inside.
3. Clean or replace the carpet.
When it comes to all smells from pets to cigarettes, carpets are the top cause when it comes to holding in smells. There are plenty of home remedies that can potentially remove the smell, but hiring a professional cleaning company to deep clean the carpet is always a good idea. If the carpet still smells afterwards or looks like no amount of cleaning will get through the smell, it may be a good idea to replace it altogether.
4. Repaint the walls.
Cigarette smoke can very clearly be seen on walls. After a lot of exposure, it can discolor paint and make it look like the walls are dripping. However, normal latex-based paints won’t cover the smoke marks. Instead, homeowners will have to use oil-based paint or shellac primer, which are better at hiding the evidence smoke leaves behind. Painting the home can also help get rid of the smell of smoke as well, so painting is doubly good.
5. Buy an air purifier.
Buying an air purifier for the home can do wonders to help get rid of the smell of smoke. Keep it in the home’s open areas, such as the living room or family room, and move it around the home as necessary. On a similar note, don’t bother wasting time or money on spray air fresheners. As much as the packaging may boast that they can freshen up any room, these sorts of air fresheners only mask the smell of smoke, and most buyers who come into the home will still be able to pick up the scent of cigarettes beneath the perfumes.
6. Move clutter that holds in smells.
Closets full of clothes and stacks of books are great at holding in the smell of cigarette smoke. But while clothes can be thrown in the wash, books and other knick-knacks can be difficult to clean before it’s time to start showing the home. This doesn’t mean throwing everything into the garbage, though. Instead, consider renting out a storage facility for a few months, or asking a friend or family member if they wouldn’t mind looking after a few boxes until the home is sold.
7. If all else fails, hire a professional.
There are professional services dedicated to cleaning homes that specialize in removing cigarette smells. If the smell still persists even after deep cleaning, airing out, painting, and more, it’s time to get one of those professionals involved.
Homes with lasting odors can be difficult to sell, but going the extra mile to clean it and get rid of the stains and smells will make it more desirable to a larger pool of home buyers, and that can mean the difference between “for sale” and “sold.”