Selling A Smoker’s Home: How It Affects Resale And How To Get Rid Of Cigarette Smells

Most people see homes as a form of investment, making it unsurprising that an increasing number of smoking homeowners care about the factors that can affect the value of their homes.

According to a report on the housing market, 64% of homeowners looked to sell in the summer of 2022, with many taking a more aggressive approach to pricing their properties.

As much as 42% of homeowners plan to list for “more than their home is worth” and minimize repairs or improvements ahead of a sale.

However, given the unpleasant nature of smoking for nonsmokers, it’s important that smoking homeowners understand how their habits affect their living space.

Even with good ventilation, it can be incredibly difficult to get rid of smoke within a home environment. Below, we explore how a smoker’s home affects resale.

What Kind Of Effects Does Smoking Have On A Home?

Leave Third-hand Smoke

One of the biggest problems of smoking in a house is the tobacco and smoke residue it leaves behind, otherwise known as thirdhand smoke.

These pollutants remain on surfaces and in dust long after smoking, contaminating the room and items exposed to burned cigarettes.

Like secondhand smoke, inhaling thirdhand smoke is harmful due to the carcinogens cigarettes release.

Research shows that people exposed to thirdhand smoke had an increased risk of cancer, poorer wound healing, and a higher risk for lung diseases, illnesses that can worsen with time when continually exposed to harmful, enclosed environments.

Damage To The House

Throughout your homestay, smokers may accidentally burn surfaces with hot cigarettes.

Kitchen worktops are commonplace for permanent damage and often need entire work surfaces replaced.

Cigarette smoke can also be detrimental, as it can easily bind to any surface, such as fabrics and carpets.

In some extreme cases, these smoke particles are deep-seated into the fabric, that deodorizers are useless.

Smoke can also cause a yellow tinge on surfaces such as walls, ceilings, and even household items and gadgets— which are often unsightly stains for house buyers.

How Does Cigarette Smoking Affect House Resale?

Given the negative effects of smoking on properties and the people living there, most smokers’ homes have lower house prices.

In fact, reports have shown that smoking inside a house can reduce its resale value by as much as one-third of the selling price.

While other variables will still affect the overall value, agents or clients looking to buy property may negotiate for lower prices to cover the costs of cleaning and repairs.

How To Get Rid Of Cigarette Smells

If you plan on selling your home, potential buyers will likely be put off by smoke or will negotiate for a price reduction.

To ensure you have the best resale, you should assess your options for cleaning and deodorizing the house. Here are some ways you can get rid of cigarette smells in your home:

Use Smokeless Alternatives

Before you can start freshening up your home, you must first stop smoking.

While you may want to get the stink out in time for a home appraisal, quitting overnight is not ideal, as you will struggle against cigarette cravings.

Instead, you can shift from smoking to smokeless alternatives, like nicotine pouches or snus.

Smoke-free nicotine pouches allow you to enjoy your nicotine kick without the odor because you tuck the pouch between your gum and top lip.

The variety of brands means that there is something for everyone. In the case of ZYN by Swedish Match, they specialize in fruity flavors that make you feel like you’re sucking on hard candy without the extra sugar.

Aside from nicotine pouches, the manufacturer also offers Swedish-style wet snuff that can be placed in the mouth without the need to light up, offering the familiar tobacco taste without any smoke.

Do note that you still have to spit, so it’s recommended that you prepare a pop can or cup to keep your environment clean.

Wash Hard Surfaces

While many homeowners clean surfaces like tables and floors, some neglect hard-to-reach surfaces where cigarette smoke stains can stay.

The cheapest way you can clean hard surfaces is by wiping them using a 3:1 vinegar-water mixture, which you can use on many places, including:

  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Floors
  • Windows and frames
  • Light fixtures
  • Doors, knobs, and handles

Deep Clean Soft Items

As mentioned earlier, smoke often lingers in fabrics and soft items. For items that are not machine-washable, it’s best to cover them with deodorizing powder, such as baking soda, for up to a few days to eliminate the smell.

Vinegar-water solutions can work well for beddings and cushions. In extreme cases, it may be better to avoid selling your home with old furnishings to avoid the smoke scent altogether.

We recommend seeking a cleaning professional to assess the best course of action so you don’t waste your time and effort.

Clean And Change Your HVAC Filters

An important last step to reducing the smell of smoke in the house is through your home’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system.

In most cases, the smoke molecules that stick to your walls and carpet have also entered your air ducts, especially if you have been smoking inside your home for years.

This residue, combined with other allergens such as skin dust, pet dander, and pollen, can severely affect your health through allergic reactions or other symptoms.

To reduce the spread of allergens and pollutants in your home, it’s essential to clean out your vents and frequently change your HVAC filters.

It’s good to invest in special odor-removing filters with neutralizing charcoal to eliminate odors and improve overall air quality. You can always hire a professional to clean your vents.

Smoking can do long-term damage to your home, but it’s never too late to improve your home environment.

Making the necessary cleaning and changes is particularly important for home appraisals.

By investing in getting smoke out of your home, you can maintain your home quality and make the most out of your property sale.

Photo of author

Author at Huliq.

Written By James Huliq