As a former smoker some many years ago, I understand ‘the want’. No matter how much my mother berated me about my habit, I didn’t want to quit until “I” wanted to quit. In fact, her nagging probably added another year of me smoking. “I’ll show her...”, I thought. Yes, I know, I was only hurting myself. But, you don’t know my mother. :)
Ok, bottom line, potential buyers who visit your home and smell smoke will be immediately turned off. Right up there with cat urine (ok, dogs pee too, I get it), smoke is a huge turn off to buyers. What’s a smoking seller to do?
First of all, try and smoke outside or on screened porch. Keep the ashtray outside, too. Even though you may only smoke in one room inside your house, smoke travels through the ventilation system and permeates every room. Rid the home of odor. How? PLEASE don’t think that perfumey plug ins, candles and room deodorizer alone will do the trick. Smoke smell alone is bad to a potential buyer but smoke smell and perfuney spray cover up combo is worse.
If you are a smoker who just purchased a home that was formerly non-smoking, be intentional about having a smoking area outside (garage doesn’t count, unless garage door is open). Start using the outside area or ‘designated smoking area’, right off the bat. If you are a smoker in a smoker’s house and really want to try and get rid of most (notice I said most, as it’s next to impossible to get all the smoke odor out) of the smoke odor, the first thing you must do is STOP all smoking in the house. Have all carpeting cleaned or if the odor is so imbedded that cleaning won’t rid the odor, then rip out and throw away all carpeting, wall to wall and rugs. Replace with new carpeting or install another type of flooring such as hardwood.
Window treatments – take them down, you can try to wash them and put back up but…? Even wood blinds have fabric cords on them. The smoke smell is in the fabric there and everywhere. Ventilate the house. Open windows (unless is a wicked hot humid day, that only enhances odors), turn on ceiling fans (wipe them all down first with a deodorizing solution of some kind). Wash all bedding and sheets, including the clean ones in the linen closet. Prior to your decision to smoke outside, these linens have be sopping up the smoke smell all along the way. Repaint surfaces, if possible. A matte finish polyurethane sealant will provide good odor protection without altering the sheen of the newly repainted wall. If you’re not going to paint, at least wash down the walls with a mild soap solution and be sure to rinse thoroughly.
Have all of your upholstery cleaned by a professional. See, it’s a big job ridding a house of smoke. Perhaps a fireman would have good ideas on removing smoke odor. The list can go on and on… oh yeah, replace your furnace filter, as well. See what I mean? I think the list could be never ending. Take it outside people. It could mean more money in your pocket when you go to sell your house.