Mistakes Sellers Make - Is Your House For Sale Going Up in Smoke?
As we approach the popular Spring selling season, many homeowners are gearing up to put their house on the market. If you have smokers living in your home, you’ll want to take extra steps to get rid of all traces of smoke before entertaining prospective buyers. Otherwise, your home will be on the market for a very long time.
Why Smoke Is A Problem
Even if buyers are smokers too, they do not want to buy a house that smells like smoke.
I remember showing a buyer client a home not too long ago. How beautiful it looked as we walked toward the entrance. But as soon as we entered the home, the distinct smell of smoke slapped us in the face, put a chokehold around our neck and had us gasping for air. We didn’t get past the foyer before we decided we had smelled enough. Just as I was about to tell the buyer I would wait at the front door so I could leave the door open, he turned and almost knocked me over trying to make a run back outside for some fresh air.
Buyers Will Not Buy A Smoky House
All of a sudden I felt like Mr. Wonderful on the Shark Tank:
“Mr. Buyer, I forbid you to buy this house.”
Then the buyer got in on the act:
“We don’t need to see the rest of it. This house is dead to me. I can’t imagine breathing that air for more than 5 minutes, much less living and sleeping in this house day in and day out. The seller can’t be serious, putting the house on the market like this.”
Why Didn’t I Think Of That?
As a homeowner you get immune to the smell. You get used to it. Maybe you even enjoy it. But buyers don’t want to smell other peoples’ smells, especially a smoke smell. Smoke can make people sick. Buyers will not buy a smoky house.
What To Do
Here are some tips to follow, if you are a smoker and want to sell your house:
Ask a neighbor, relative or friend to come for a visit. If they tell you they smell smoke as soon as they walk in the front door, then don’t even think about putting up the ‘For Sale’ sign until you de-smoke. Before putting your home on the market, you also must:
- Open the windows and get some air circulating
- Deep clean or replace your carpet, upholstery and drapes
- Wipe down all surfaces with a neutralizing solution (Febreeze, Bleach, Pine Sol)
- Paint your walls
- Have your air ducts professionally cleaned
- Change your HVAC air filter
Once you have done all of this, ask your neighbor or friend to return to see if they breathe easier once they enter the house. If they still smell smoke, repeat the steps above. (At this point, you may also want to consider bringing in a remediation specialist experienced in air quality and smoke remediation.) Do Not put your house on the market until they give you the all-clear that they no longer smell the smoke.
From this point forward, you must take your smoking outside. Better yet, kick the habit altogether. Both you and your house will be much healthier.
If your house for sale is going up in smoke, remember, the key is to get it sold. If You Want Your House To Sell, Make Sure It Does Not Have A Smoky Smell!
Mistakes Sellers Make - Is Your House Going Up in Smoke?
Posted by: Cheryl Dukes, Realtor
Solid Source Realty, Inc.
Phone: 770-475-1130 x 4486