C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog

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If you make an appointment to show your home to a potential buyer, don't smoke. Seriously...

If you make an appointment to show your home to a potential buyer, don't smoke.

If you make an appointment to show your home to a potential buyer, please do not smoke.

Why am I repeating myself? Because I could have sold a beautiful home that was priced right and had approximately $23K of equity available. Only problem is the sellers smoke and they tried to hide the smell by burning scented candles instead of opening the windows to air it out. The scented candles were tainted by the smell of the aforementioned cigarette smoke, so the home wound up smelling funky and stuffy instead of pleasant.

It was a lovely home. It had plenty of storage. Lots of nice original features... They even did tasteful upgrades. The sellers have nice neighbors and we learned quite a bit about them during our visit. My buyer didn't notice all the points of order because she was too busy being distracted by the gentle, sad and poignant monologue of what the family used to do in each room. The sellers where placing it on the market because they suffered the tragic loss of a son whose senseless murder made the newspapers. We had no idea when we made the appointment that this was the family because the listing agent failed to bring their mourning status to our attention.

We understood they were in mourning only after we arrived at the home (and I was horrified that my appointment caused them to stop what they were doing to rush home to meet us). When we realized what had transpired, we tried to view the home as swiftly as possible so they could get on with their day, except the parents are beautiful people and they just wanted to talk about their handsome boy who died much too young...

So we stayed, politely and silently choking on the "fumes" while expressing our sorrow for their tragic loss. We saw the backyard (translated: fresh air), went back into the home to quietly choke some more, then eventually left. My eyes were burning while en-route to my car. While parked, we commented on the fact that our clothes now smelled funny before driving off. Cigarettes and candles was not the conversation I wanted to be having with my buyer. We are truly sorry for their loss and hope if other agents read this they may carefully caution their sellers to air the home out before letting buyers in if they smoke.

I can not change a first impression.

If you make an appointment to show your home to a potential buyer, please don't smoke. Seriously...

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Comment balloon 22 commentsC Tann-Starr • February 14 2009 10:22AM

Comments

I agree, there is no worse smell then trying to cover up cigarette smoke. Is it really so hard to smoke in your garage or your back yard.

Posted by David Width Jr. over 9 years ago

That's a truly sad situation, C. So, to turn this around, let me add that you shouldn't smoke pot in the house, either. I  mean, seriously, pot linger in the air forever. You can't air out that odor. So people, do all your smoking in the back yard, and whatever you do, don't light up just before a showing because others can smell it on you. Especially pot.

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (Lyon Real Estate) over 9 years ago

David, this is so true.

Elizabeth, I absolutely love you. Learned something new today about the lingering affects of seller's pot smoking (LOL).

Susan Mangigian wrote an interesting post about sellers and not smoking:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/927779/So-You-Want-to-Sell-your-Home-Youll-have-to-quit-smoking-first

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Hi C, I agree, there's nothing worse that the smell of cigarettes...well maybe cat urine. But, that's the subject of another post!

Posted by Tony Orefice, Realtor/Harrisburg NC,Concord NC (Wilkinson and Associates/www.TonyOreficeRealtor.com) over 9 years ago

Tony, very true. Cat urine, eh? Now there's a post I am looking forward to reading (LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Whoever can come up with something to really get rid of those odors will never have to work again! I have to admit I'd rather smell cigarettes or pot (ha, not that I know how it smells, mind you!) than MOTH BALLS.

 

Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing over 9 years ago

Moth balls remind me of very old people saving every single thing they can. I can't get those visuals out of my head. I don't know anyone under 30 who would touch a moth ball. That's a shame, isn't it? (LOL)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 9 years ago

First impressions are everything for sure, and the smell of smoke can make a bad one for many people.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 9 years ago

JL, especially if they have bronchitis or asthma...

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 9 years ago

C,

Seriously, I think there should be a disclosure on the MLS stating the home has been smoked in.  I have buyers who will not even look because they are allergic to smoke.... 

I am sorry for the seller's loss. 

Ann Hayden in sunny cold Wildwood, Missouri

Posted by Ann Hayden, SelectAnn.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri) over 9 years ago

Ann, that would actually be a very good thing. I wonder who we need to pass that suggestion to. NAR?

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 9 years ago

C,

I think it would be an awsesome idea!  I have been suggesting it for a couple of years.  Everyone seems to think it would create issues.

Ann

Posted by Ann Hayden, SelectAnn.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri) over 9 years ago

Ann, if they can have a check off box for pets, they should be able to add a check off box for smoking. Geez...

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 9 years ago

I agree moth balls might be worse, but seriously if you smoke do it outside.  Smell is one of the five senses...why do you think cooking stores bake cookies to entice you when you come in.  Actually that might be a good idea for this seller...have them bake vanilla cookies to mask the smell.

Posted by Simon Mills (Mills Realty) over 9 years ago

C, you are so right. We just discussing this at a luncheon I attended. Bad smells can send buyers away never to return. Cigarette smoke and pet odors top the list. Hopefully you'll get another buyer and the sellers learned their lesson.

Posted by Tanya Venable, SEO, Mobile SEO, and Internet Marketing Consultant over 9 years ago

LOL @ Simon. Moth balls may be the subject of my next post (LMAO).  I like the cookie idea and will pass that along to my sellers. :-)

 

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Tanya, bad smells definitely leave a lasting impression.  I wish them well and feel horrible about their son. Maybe I can get another buyer interested. I do have a few I'm working with who do smoke...

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 9 years ago

C,

Yes, we need to ban together so this happens..

Ann

Posted by Ann Hayden, SelectAnn.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri) over 9 years ago

Ann, I'm with you 100%. This would be very useful for a lot of people.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Here's a tip. Get an ozenator! It destroys odours. Putting 1 or 2 in a big home for 24 hours kills every odour. Also there is a product called Aromask which does the same thing. If you want more info on this email me.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) over 9 years ago

I saw your blog and thought I had responded, but apparently not. I have access to a product that works for this.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) over 9 years ago

Thank you, Terry. I just learned something new today. Very cool. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 9 years ago

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