Survey of Ontario real estate agents finds most buyers less likely or unwilling to buy smokers’ homes

Kirkland, Quebec – April 16, 2013 – It is well-known that smokers lose money due to the expense of cigarettes – but the cost of smoking may be higher than they think. A recent survey of Ontario real estate agents and brokers, sponsored by Pfizer Canada, found that smoking in the home could lower the value of your property by up to 29 per cent;[i] with an average house price of $369,000 in Ontario[ii] this means a loss of up to $107,010.

“Smoking has a profound impact on how appealing a home is to a prospective buyer,” says David Visentin, host of the W Network’s Love it or List it and top real estate agent in Southern Ontario. “It stains walls and carpets, and leaves a smell that can be hard to eliminate. Many prospective buyers are really put off by homes that have been smoked in, and they can be very challenging to sell.”

IMPACT OF SMOKING IN THE HOME: BEYOND COSMETICThe impact of smoking in the home is not just cosmetic – it can significantly affect property values. Almost half (44 per cent) of real estate agents and brokers surveyed said smoking in the home affects resale value.1 Of these, one-in-three (32 per cent) said smoking in the home may lower the value by 10-19 per cent and a further one-in-three (32 per cent) said it may lower the value by 20-29 per cent.

Further, smoking may actually deter prospective buyers. An overwhelming majority of Ontario real estate agents and brokers (88 per cent) agreed that it is more difficult to sell a home where owners have smoked.1 More than half of respondents (56 per cent) said most buyers are less likely to buy a home where people have smoked, and 27 per cent went further and said most buyers are actually unwilling to buy a home where people have smoked.1

In Canada 15 per cent of homes have at least one regular smoker,[iii] which could affect the likelihood of these homeowners selling at full value.

IMPORTANCE OF A QUIT PLAN“Nicotine is very addictive; as addictive as heroin or cocaine,[iv]” says Dr. Anil Gupta, cardiologist, Trillium Health Centre in Ontario. “We need to support smokers as they prepare to overcome potential withdrawal symptoms. It is important that smokers talk to a healthcare professional about their treatment options to help them break their addiction – this includes developing a quit plan and setting a quit date.”

Aside from the health benefits of quitting smoking, if you are in the market to sell your home, or it’s something you may consider doing in the future, quitting smoking is one way to help you get the best price for your property, especially in uncertain economic times.

Even for smokers not currently planning to sell their homes, quitting smoking can have great benefits on their living space, including fresher and cleaner air, cleaner curtains, upholstery, walls, windows and mirrors, less need to paint walls and ceilings and avoiding cigarette burns on carpets or furniture.[v]

“Any smoker will tell you quitting isn’t easy; it took me several tries and a lot of support before I managed to stop smoking,” said Allan Hobbs, former smoker. “I would sneak into my garage to smoke, because when you look at how much it can cost your health, your wallet, and even your property value, it’s worth trying to quit again.”

ABOUT PFIZER IN CANADAPfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies. Every day, Pfizer Canada employees work to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life. Our commitment is reflected in everything Pfizer does, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships, to our belief that it takes more than medication to be truly healthy. To learn more about Pfizer’s More than Medication philosophy and programs, visit To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit


Sarahlynn Chounramany

Sarahlynn Chounramany

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Home Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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