A major part of the first impression that buyers get when going into a house for the first time is the odor. I have smelled all kinds of different aromas when showing houses--from the very good to the downright nauseating. Nothing can make a prospective buyer hurry from a home faster than a bad smell.
The two that I seem to encounter the most are pet smells and cigarettes. Both are fairly unpleasant, depending on the severity, but according to Regina Flores of ServPro, Cigarette smoke smell is much worse to get rid of.
"If the pet smell is your run of the mill shedding dog or cat, and the animal has not repeatedly done its "business" indoors, then simply removing the hair, and replacing the carpets will normally get rid of the animal smell." She says. "Cigarettes on the other hand infiltrates everything. I've seen yellow walls, practically dripping with nicotine. That is a much harder odor to get rid of."
I used to smoke. I smoked all through my twenties. And not that it is an excuse, because it was apparent back in the nineties that it was bad for you--but everyone seemed to smoke back then. At least everyone I knew. You could smoke in restaurants, in hotel rooms, hell they had just stopped allowing you to smoke on domestic flights. EVERYTHING used to smell like cigarettes. I never noticed it.
But now I am one of those horrible reformed smokers that hates the smell of it. I glower at any smoker who I deem has ventured too close to my personal space. I applaud every new anti-smoking law, and I look with a bit of pity at those huddled outside still puffing away. Smoking is so twenty years ago.
And the smell is the first thing I notice when I go into a house. There really are few smells that are as bad as stale cigarettes in a home that has been shut up for awhile. And according to the experts in odors. Getting rid of the smell can cost you thousands of dollars.
"In real bad cases," says Flores, "Getting rid of carpets and repainting won't do the trick." you have to scrub all the tar off the walls. Then you prime the wall with an alcohol based solvent before repainting. Also the tar will seep through the carpet and into the subfloor, which will need to be treated with a heavy duty solvent as well. And if there is any type of duct work in the house? Many times all the will need to be replaced to bring the odor under control."
Jeff Williams of KW NYC saw an apartments sell for 20% less than its none smoke contaminated duplicate. A bad habit that cost the seller over fifty thousand dollars.
So besides depreciating your health, smoking can depreciate the value of your home. Just another reason to give up the smokes.