Home Selling Tip For Smokers
I am sure that you have heard by now, cigarette smoking is bad for your health. According to the American heart Association, 24% of males in the US and 21% of females are active smokers. But did you know that it is also bad for selling a home?
I had clients in town yesterday who are relocating to Tallahassee and want a great buy in the $400,000 price range. They will purchase a home using a two-step process. This first visit was designed to give them a "lay of the land" so that they could finalize locations in which they would like to live, as well as give them an understanding of what you can buy for less than $500,000 in the Tallahassee real estate market, while their next visit in a few weeks will be for the selection of the home that they will buy.
Home Conditions In Tallahassee
We selected ten homes for them to see yesterday afternoon, and 8 out of the 10 homes were maintained very nicely and showed well. Of course, homes in this price range are near the top end of the Tallahassee housing market, so I always expect the homes to be in top shape. What surprised me is that two of the homes were obviously owned by cigarette smokers.
In the smoking homes, one of the two homes had the smell of cigarettes in every room, but you could tell that most likely is was "transfer smell" from the clothing of the smokers. A good cleaning of the home and shampooing of the carpets would most likely eliminate the smell. But second home owners have caused some serious damage to the value of their home.
It was obvious to me that they actively smoked cigarettes inside of the home. My experience has shown me that getting rid of this smell that permeates through the very core of the home is not easy, and it is not cheap. We once sold a home that had two active, indoor-smokers living in it for 10 years. We had to remove all the flooring, treat the under-flooring, scrub the walls and ceilings, and then re-surface the entire house. The cost on a 3000 square foot home was over $20K.
I suspect the cost to today's home sellers is going to be far worse. Here is what I would say "market feedback" from my buyers would be:
- The home was close to where they wanted to be
- The home had all of the features and amenities that they were looking for
- The home was priced fairly compared to the competition
- Not in a million years will they buy that house.
The seller could reduce the price by 15% and they would not buy that home. They need to quit smoking inside of it and completely re-mediate the problem, otherwise their limited buyer pool has been reduced by 80% (20% of the buyers most likely smoke). But even smokers don't want to buy a home that reeks of somebody else's cigarette smoke.
So consider this a warning, if you smoke, do it outside of the structure of the house, or plan on losing a good bit of money when it comes time to sell your home.
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