One of the hardest obstacles to overcome when selling a home is cigarette smoke. It’s not just a matter of cleaning all of the surfaces in a home: it gets into the duct system and seeps into every inch of porous material inside the home. It’s a lot of hard work to get rid of and if the smoker continues to live in the home while it’s on the market, it’s a constant battle. Luckily, it’s not a hopeless situation. There are steps that a seller can take to get rid of the smoke.
- Clean out the duct work in the home. This will likely require a professional. Advanced Air Solutions in Wilmington comes highly recommended. Pricing depends on the size of the home.
- Cover the walls and ceilings with Kilz and a fresh coat of paint. This will help to kill the odor that’s ingrained itself in the major surfaces of the home.
- Deep clean the carpets with strong odor killing shampoo. It may even be best to pay a professional, because they likely have experience with smoke odors and know which professional grade products to use.
- Shampoo and/or scrub any furniture that will handle it. Read the labels and pre-test if unsure. The goal is not to wreck any finishes, but to make sure it’s clean.
- Wipe down all cupboards, counters, shelving, and fixtures. Don’t forget under the cupboards, inside drawers, and in high places, like ceiling fans. Smoke travels on air and air is in practically everything. Being thorough is key!
- Filter the air inside the home with an air ionizer, sometimes referred to as an air scrubber. A&I Restoration and Highland Construction use them to improve air quality inside homes and have done work with listings in the past. If there will be smoking in the home while it’s listed, it would probably be best to purchase an air ionizer to use every day.
Remember, it’s important to fix the problem and not just mask it, because a seller could get into hot water if the buyer determines they are being dishonest about any current issues with the home. Severe situations may require the flooring of the home to be replaced, but it’s best to first try the minor fixes. It may seem like an awful lot of work, but odors will greatly reduce the selling price of a home and could double the amount of days it spends on the market.