My Top Tips for Selling a Smoker's House

March 14, 2024

As a real estate agent here in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, I often work with clients who are selling homes that were owned by lifelong smokers. Dealing with cigarette smoke damage can be daunting, but with the right strategies, these properties can be successfully renovated and sold. Here are some of my tried-and-true tips for tackling a smoker's house.

Remove Smelly Furniture and Fabrics

The first step is getting all upholstered furniture, curtains, and carpets out of the home. Cigarette smoke odors are deeply embedded in these porous materials.

Use Charcoal to Absorb Lingering Smells

Spreading charcoal briquettes around the house is a budget-friendly way to help neutralize residual odors as the home airs out.

Treat Walls with Kilz Primer

This specialized primer is key for sealing in tar residue on walls before painting. Multiple coats may be needed depending on damage levels.

Refurbish Hardwood Floors and Ductwork

Deep cleaning floors can restore them, while professional duct cleaning prevents smoke circulation. Both are important for removing odors.

Consider Your Repair vs Sell-As-Is Options

Weigh whether discounts for repairs are worth it over limiting your buyer pool by selling as-is. Consult with an agent for market-specific advice.

If you need help navigating the process of preparing a smoker's house for sale, check out my online real estate training program. Click here to get started. You'll gain expert guidance for every step of the selling process.



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~ Leigh Brown, Broker/Owner, REALTOR®, Speaker, Coach


Real Estate Broker. Author. Coach. CSP® (Certified Speaking Professional™) Keynote speaker. Leigh Brown is laser-focused on inspiring people to be better, strive for more, and to take the reins and lead!

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