Smoking inside your home may lower selling price: Survey

VANCOUVER – A new survey finds owners who smoke in their home and want to sell may not only have a harder time selling but will likely have to accept less money for the sale.

Seventy-six per cent of British Columbia realtors say most prospective buyers are less likely or unwilling to buy smokers’ homes. More than half say a property’s value is decreased by as much as 10 per cent if the previous owners allowed smoking inside the home.

“Our survey findings suggest that in addition to undermining health, homeowners who smoke are burning a hole in their pocketbook,” said Scott McDonald, CEO of the BC Lung Association, in a release.

“This survey confirms what we already know. The majority of British Columbians prefer to live in a smoke-free home. They have come to expect a smoke-free workplace, and they certainly expect no less in their homes.”

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The survey was conducted by the Leger Research Intelligence Group of 200 British Columbia REALTORS®. It released by the BC Lung Association and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Jason Feinstadt, with Macdonald Realty, is not surprised by the survey findings. “The smell of smoke is definitely an issue for a lot of buyers I’ve worked with,” he said. “Buyers prefer clean and scent-free houses. You can remove the smell of smoke, but re-painting and re-carpeting can add up to be a significant expense.”

A summary of key survey findings:

  • 76 per cent of realtors say the resale value of homes is lower if the current owners smoke. 
  • 70 per cent say most prospective buyers are unwilling or less likely to purchase a home where owners have smoked.
  • 77 per cent agree that it is more difficult to sell a home where the current owners smoke.
  • Realtors outside of Greater Vancouver are more likely to feel that the resale value will be lower if the current owners smoke (92 per cent versus 72 per cent of Vancouver realtors).

According to the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CTADS), the B.C. smoking rate is 11.4 per cent, the lowest smoking rate in the country.

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