A recent survey of Ontario real estate agents in Ontario found that smoking in a home could lower the value of your property by up to 30 per cent.
The survey was sponsored by Pfizer Canada and besides the obvious damage by staining walls and carpets, it can leave a smell that is very hard to eliminate. I remember having a client close a deal and noticed a smell of smoke when they entered the home on closing. I asked why they didn’t notice the smell when they originally toured the home and they said fans were on with electric air fresheners plugged into the walls. That apparently masked the smell that day.
It makes sense that a home with a smoky smell or strong odour will be harder to sell as it will deter most buyers.
Smoke or pet odours, such as cat urine, can cause headaches when trying to sell a home. There are solutions and companies that can solve these issues.
Restoration companies such as Winmar Disaster Restoration, Medallion Healthy Homes of Canada and Biosense Environmental offer solutions that can assist with these problems. The process involved is using concentrated ozone gas to get into all areas of the home, including the walls, to assist in cleaning out the smell, even when the home was occupied previously by heavy smokers.
There are, of course, household products such as vinegar that you can use for minor problem odours or an over-the-counter product such as Nature’s Miracle, to remove pet odours.
Buyers, be suspicious if you notice the fans going or electric air fresheners whenever visiting a home for the first time.
Sellers, don’t try to cover up or hide odour issues that you know about. Get rid of any foul odour before putting your home for sale, to maximize your return.