Selling a house that smells like smoke can seem impossible. You might be struggling to figure out how you’ll clear the odor and get the house on the market for a reasonable price.
It’s understandable. Things have changed, and it’s no longer the status quo to have a house that smells smokey. Smoking in the house was once common, so people were used to the cigarette odor wherever they went.
Nowadays, buyers aren’t interested in moving into a house with smoke residue, and no amount of air fresheners will change that. So, can you sell a house that smells like smoke? We’re going to explore that question in this article, giving you some key tips and tricks on moving forward and getting the best price.
If your house smells like smoke, learn some ideas on how to sell a smoker’s house and if selling to a cash home buyer makes sense.
Can You Sell a Smoker’s House?
At the end of the day, can you sell a smoker’s house to a non-smoker?
You certainly can. But the buyer can’t think that it stinks with the smell of cigarette smoke.
Your first option is to sell your house as-is. There are cash buyers who will take the home off of your hands for a slightly-reduced price, eliminating the need for you to take care of the smoke smell in any way or deal with a real estate agent.
At the same time, you might not be comfortable losing home value because of cigarette smoke residue or thirdhand smoke. If that sounds like you, don’t worry too much. It’s not a deal-breaker. There are several things you can do to eliminate (or reduce) smoke smells and sell your house on the market for a normal price.
All you have to do is apply a little effort to the deep cleaning methods we’ll discuss next.
Tips for Selling a Smoker’s House
Whether you’re cleaning a house that you left smoke residue in or you’re cleaning up after the previous owners, you’ve got a little work ahead of you.
Short of hiring smoke removal experts or professional cleaning experts, you’re going to work on the following projects by yourself. If you’re meticulous, though, you’ll see a massive difference in the quality of your home’s air and appearance. Cleaning a house that smells like smoke is no picnic, but it’s well worth the time you put into it as a homeowner.
You’ll see a significant jump in interest in your home when you remove the traces of cigarette smoke.
Getting The House Cleaned
Our first option is to work with professionals. There are professional smoke removal experts, professional house cleaning services, and other services that specialize in cleaning your house if it smells like smoke.
This is also a great option if you go through the following steps and find that you weren’t able to do a very effective job of deodorizing. Professionals are an excellent fallback, and they’re more than worth the cost, considering how much money they’ll add to your asking price.
Don’t get down on yourself if you can’t pull it off yourself. Some homes are coated in decades of smoke residue from multiple owners. Getting rid of the odor requires some heavy-duty cleaning.
Consider Using an HVAC System
An HVAC system is a great way to start getting rid of cigarette odor and cleaning your house.
You can utilize the HVAC system to vacuum your walls, curtains, floors, ceilings, and furniture. These are the key areas where smoke residue accumulates. HVAC systems are typically very strong and provide significant suction.
Vacuuming these areas is the best way to start, as it gives you a decent idea of where problem areas exist. If you don’t have an HVAC, try your best to borrow a strong vacuum cleaner or any other cleaning tool that utilizes suction.
You should also set up an air purifier as you go through the process because a significant amount of dust and fine particles will be released as you clean.
Washing Walls & Changing Lightbulbs
Get some soapy water and an abrasive sponge ready. Walls pick up debris every time a cigarette gets smoked indoors. Over time, smoking in a house creates a thick coating of ash and smoke residue on all exposed walls.
You can remove a significant amount of that debris if you wash your walls well. Give yourself a couple of days to focus on this. You’ll need to scrub relatively hard to get it all off so dedicate some time to the process.
Changing the lightbulbs is another way to improve the appearance of a room. Smoke-coated lightbulbs produce a shaded light, which is a signature aspect of a house that’s been smoked in. New lightbulbs will brighten the room up significantly.
Baking soda might be able to absorb the residue on your walls and lightbulbs if you are having trouble with other products. You can also apply a new coat of paint after cleaning hard surfaces. Repainting is an effective way to mask smells.
Get New Carpets and Curtains
Upholstery areas are the most difficult areas to clean. Smoke burrows deep into the heart of your curtains and carpets. The challenge is that these materials are relatively porous so they hang onto odors longer than flat surfaces might.
Plus, activities like moving a curtain or stepping on a carpet lead odors to emerge from the material. It’s incredibly difficult to get the smoke smell out of a home without replacing the curtains and carpets. You can try to work with baking soda to pull the smoke odors out of the fabrics, but it might not be enough.
This is an unfortunate fact because replacing textiles can get expensive and time-consuming. Hiring professional contractors to do the work is a great way to go.
Nonetheless, doing so will increase your resale value from a couple of angles. For one, you’ll reduce the smell of the smoke significantly. Second, you’ll be able to boast new carpets and curtains.
Redecorate Your House
Redecoration is another essential aspect. You’ll remove the furniture before individuals move in, but there still has to be something to fill the home will potential buyers do walk-throughs.
If you’ve smoked in the home with the existing furniture, make sure you redecorate with new furniture. Furniture holds smoke smell for a long time. We also get closer to the furniture than we do the carpet or the ceiling so there’s more of an impact on odor.
The smart move is to hire a staging professional who can redecorate your home with modern furniture and curate a space where people want to live in Virginia Beach. Even if you’re selling a house in an undesirable location, this can help.
Should You Sell to a Cash Home Buyer?
If the damage is too significant, your best bet could be to sell your home to cash home buyers in Virginia.
Cash buyers expedite the process of selling a home. This scenario removes much of the stress and difficulty involved in selling the home. In some cases, there aren’t any realtors, no renovations to make, no necessary inspections to fret over, and the sale closes in no more than a few weeks.
Selling a house that smells like smoke to companies that buy houses in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Virginia, or surrounding areas often means selling to a cash buyer. Home selling isn’t easy in a buyer’s market, so the presence of cigarette odor could crush your shot of selling.
Cleaning typically works to remove the smell but it’s a time-consuming and expensive process. If you’d like to expedite the home sale, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t consider a cash buyer.
Again, the only difference is that they take the home for slightly less than the price you’d get on the market. You also reduce a lot of the overhead that comes along with selling a house, though, so the trade-off is a pretty fair one.
When you factor in stress, anxiety, and uncertainty into the mix, cash buyers are giving you a lot more value than you might think.
Want to Learn More About Home Selling?
Hopefully, our look at how to sell a house that looks like smoke was valuable to you.
Make sure to deal with the walls, carpets, curtains, furniture, and lights as you go through the process. If you’re not confident in your abilities, you can always rely on the fact that professional cleaners can improve the home considerably.
When those options don’t seem appealing, cash buyers are here to get your home off the market without any required changes or cleanings. We buy houses in Norfolk and surrounding areas. We’ll even take the homes with an undeniable cigarette odor.
Explore our site to learn more about your options for getting homes off the market, no matter the condition.