First impression make a huge deal when trying to sell a house and when the first impression is a house that smells of cigarette smoke, that impression is usually not a good one. Smoking in a house greatly reduces the condition of a houses interior including the carpet, walls and ceiling. The result is that the house is worth much less than if a non smoker had been living in it.
When a smoker tries to sell a house, the house will receive less bids and a lower price than if the same house were on the market without the cigarette smoke damage. Depending on the house and where it’s located, the decrease in value will be thousands of dollars at a minimum and could easily sell for tens of thousands of dollars less.
There are several factors that conspire together to reduce the value of a house that has had a smoker living in it:
Reduced Market Size: The number of buyers that will accept a house that has been smoked in is much smaller than that for houses that have never been smoked in. In fact, many people won’t even consider purchasing a house that was previously owned by a smoker. Since the number of people that are willing to buy a house that has been smoked in is much smaller than houses where there were never smokers, there is less competition for the house which often results in a lower price.
Smoke Smell: Cigarette smoke leaves a strong smell that is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to completely remove from a house that has been owned by a smoker. This smell turns off many potential buyers. A house where the smell of smoke can’t be removed is much less desirable and will result in a lower bid from buyers.
Burns & Stains: When people smoke in houses, there is a good chance that there is interior damage caused by the cigarettes. This could be burn marks from fallen ash or an accidentally dropped cigarette. All these marks look unsightly and reduce the value of the house.
In addition, cigarette smoke will seep into the the carpets, calls and even the ceilings of the house. This smoke won’t only leave a smell, but also stain these surfaces resulting in a dim and discolored interior. This will make the house look older and dirtier than if a non smoker had lived in it and greatly reduce the value of it.
Assuming that a person lives in their house for 5 years and that the value of the house loses $10,000 in value due to damage and appearance as a result of smoking, the resulting cost of smoking comes to $2,000 a year. The higher the value of the house, the more smoking in it will cost the owner when it comes time to sell.