How do you nicely tell your sellers to stop smoking in the house?

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Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Sunbelt 3202583

 

How do you nicely tell your sellers to stop smoking in the house? Really,  I went to write up a listing and OMG, I got home and could not stand the smell of myself.  I just think that people get used to the smell and don't really know how the house really smells. 

  

The question is how do you tell your sellers to stop smoking in the house? It is a really cute house and I have shown houses that had cigarette odors and of course the buyer said, NO WAY!

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Rainmaker
535,255
Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Michelle: A lovely associate asked me to help price a house yesterday.. The house was GLORIOUS BUT the owner/builder smoked... I gave two prices.. one with the smoker and the other $200,000 less.. I think  (hope) he got the point. Best, G

Jun 09, 2011 12:23 PM #1
Rainmaker
798,859
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Hi Michelle,

That is the worse!!  I usually tell the seller I have a very sensitive nose and I smell the smoke, we certainly wouldn't want a possible buyer to pick up on.  I put the blame on myself as much as I can - That darn nose of mine!!  Pet odors, same story.

Jun 09, 2011 12:27 PM #2
Rainer
41,208
Sandi Davidson
Florida's Realty LLC - Lehigh Acres, FL

Wow that is a tough question.  I guess you would just ask them how badly they want to sell their home.  I have two dogs and I often worry that they create an odor in the house that I don't smell.  Cigarette smoking is the same way.  One gets immune to the smell I suppose.

The soft approach would be to say "I know you probably don't realize it since you live here, but when I walked into the house I could smell X.  That may be a turn off to many buyers.  If you want to sell your house for the best price you may want to eliminate the problem"  This gets kind of tricky if pets are involved :)

Jun 09, 2011 12:29 PM #3
Rainer
24,888
Michelle Forneris
Century 21 Sunbelt - Cape Coral, FL
Realtor Specializing in SW Florida Homes

I forgot to add they have 4 dogs and 3 cats.  I could not even smell the animals at all!

 

Jun 09, 2011 12:36 PM #4
Rainer
24,888
Michelle Forneris
Century 21 Sunbelt - Cape Coral, FL
Realtor Specializing in SW Florida Homes

Thank ya'll for the advice, greatly appreciated!

Jun 09, 2011 12:37 PM #5
Rainer
30,097
Virginia Gingras
West USA Revelation - Gilbert, AZ

Unfortunately once the smell of smoke is in a home it is very hard to get out.  Good luck with your listing.

Jun 09, 2011 12:41 PM #6
Ambassador
1,893,489
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

I just tell them like it is.  You want your house to sell then you need to get the old drapes out, the carpets cleaned, air it out AND no more smoking in the house.  Usually works.

Jun 09, 2011 12:46 PM #7
Rainmaker
277,141
Beverly Carlson
Carlson Properties 325-721-2429 - Abilene, TX
Abilene's Staging Realtor

I can't imagine a smoker not knowing that the house smells! So the subject has to be brought up and everything depends on the motivation whether they keep smoking in the house. To get the smell out, the drapes, carpets, and all upholstered furnishings need clieaning or replacing, and natural ventialation works the best. OPEN ALL THE WINDOWS and ideally leave that way for 24-48 hours.

 

 

 

Jun 09, 2011 01:51 PM #8
Rainmaker
1,250,173
Michele Cadogan-Cell 917-861-9166
Fillmore Real Estate 2990 Av U, Bklyn , NY 11229 - Brooklyn, NY
Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker -

 

My co-manager had a listing with the same type of smoking issue you have.  I brought two aircleaners and told the sellers that in order to get the house sold they would have to keep those two air cleaners on .  House sold.

Jun 09, 2011 03:08 PM #9
Rainmaker
237,535
Jerri McCombs
Hendersonville NC Relocation - Hendersonville, NC
Hendersonville NC Relocation

Cigarette odor is the worst and really hard. But you absolutely have to talk to them. I like the idea of two orices to list, one for the smoke and one without. It puts it in perspective. And it makes them decide quick.

Jun 09, 2011 03:33 PM #10
Rainer
24,888
Michelle Forneris
Century 21 Sunbelt - Cape Coral, FL
Realtor Specializing in SW Florida Homes

Thank everyone who commented, all of the comments are very helpful and greatly appreciated.

Jun 09, 2011 11:56 PM #11
Rainmaker
453,651
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904

Be honest. In a pleasant professional way; it is important to have a heart to heart with them. As smokers they are not aware of it. If they have not washed their walls recently-it is a great way of demonstrating your point.  Light soap and water will reveal how much tar and nicotine has built up over time.  It is an eye opener to hard core smokers.  They have hired you to sell their home-this is part of the evaluation process that will DIRECTLY IMPACT the value of their property in an adverse manner.

They may want to consider a repaint, and carpet cleaning before you actively show the home. A HEPA filter works well too- cleaning ductwork, and A/C filters as well. In this case spending a few dollars will make a lot of sense.  Good luck.

 

Jun 09, 2011 11:57 PM #12
Rainer
24,888
Michelle Forneris
Century 21 Sunbelt - Cape Coral, FL
Realtor Specializing in SW Florida Homes

Thanks Allison, I know that it can get in the walls and that is what I am afraid of.  I have showed homes that you walk in and it had been vacant for a while, but the smell was in the walls!  Thanks for your info!

Jun 10, 2011 12:04 AM #13
Ambassador
779,827
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

My father and sister smoked in the family home for years. How did they deal with this when it was time to sell? 1) A stately 16 months on the market 2) four price reductions 3) had the house repainted and replaced all flooring and linens.

 Those turned out to be some expensive cigarettes...

Jun 15, 2011 02:47 AM #14
Rainer
24,888
Michelle Forneris
Century 21 Sunbelt - Cape Coral, FL
Realtor Specializing in SW Florida Homes

Thanks Doug, I appreciate the info.  People don't realize the long time affects.

Jun 15, 2011 02:56 AM #15
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Michelle Forneris

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