What is The Effect of Smoking in Homes?
It’s no secret that unpleasant smells turn off potential buyers. One of those smells comes from smoking. It can be barely noticeable or overwhelming. When it is obvious, my experience is that buyers always notice and comment on it. But what effect exactly does it have on the selling process?
A Canadian study sponsored by pharmaceutical company Pfizer Canada tried to find out. It asked Canadian real estate licensees about both marketability (the ability of a home to attract offers), and value at resale, when there was smoking in the home. The result appears to be that it affects both.
The survey found that 44% of the brokers and agents felt that smoking can reduce a home’s value on resale. The estimate of the penalty was a decrease in value of up to 29%. That decline – almost a third of a home’s value, would appear to be a greater than the deduction that would be assessed by an appraiser – at least in the metropolitan Phoenix area, so that may not be realistic here.
More relevant is the effect on marketability – whether buyers are less likely to purchase a home where people have smoked. Over half of respondents (56%) said most buyers would be less likely to purchase a home where smoking had occurred, and just over a quarter (27%) believed buyers would be unwilling to even consider buying when the home owners had smoked.
According to real estate agent David Visentin, a co-host of the W Network‘s “Love it or List it” program, “[m]any prospective buyers are really put off by homes that have been smoked in and they can be very challenging to sell.” In an article discussing the study* in CTV News (www.ctvnews.ca), he stated that “[s]moking has a profound impact on how appealing a home is to a prospective buyer. It stains walls and carpets, and leaves a smell that can be hard to eliminate.”
So there is no doubt most buyers are turned off by a home where the home owners have smoked. Buyers will be unwilling to consider the home or make an offer. And if buyers do present a contract, smoking in the home will prompt lower offers which may lower the eventual selling price.
The conclusion is to smoke outside your home as much as possible. And if you own a home that has a noticeable smoking odor, do what is necessary so it doesn’t affect the home’s desirability and value. That can include painting, re-carpeting, and the removal of drapes, curtains and furniture. Professionals are available to “de-smoke” a home – if you would like to know who does that kind of work in the Phoenix area, let me know.
N. Mark Kramoltz, JD, GRI, CIPS is a real estate attorney and the Designated Broker of SimplySold, a real estate brokerage located in Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Kramoltz writes articles that provide valuable and unique information on local and international real estate issues from his perspective as a real estate attorney, an Arizona Department of Real Estate certified instructor, and an active licensee. Check SimplySOLD’s Facebook page regularly, follow him on Twitter @azpropexpert, and visit www.simplysoldaz.com for properties for sale and more on Arizona real estate.
N. Mark Kramoltz © 2013