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Daily Real Estate News  |  October 18, 2006  |   Smoky, Smelly Houses Don't Sell
Smoke at least the lingering smell might be getting in the eyes of potential buyers.

“If you can smell it, you can’t sell it,” says John Hokkanen, an Encinitas, Calif., real estate associate who sells property in a region where anti-smoking forces are particularly militant.

Gary Kent, a San Diego real estate professional, says he and many other practitioners don’t even like to sign clients who smoke because they’ll have to hold open houses in their homes. “Who wants to sit in a smoky room for three hours?” Kent asks.

Cleaning up smoke smell can require little more than shampooing carpets and running fans, but in cases where heavy cigarette use has gone on for years, removing the telltale signs requires a professional.

Cleanup can involve scrubbing all walls and ductwork, repainting everything, and replacing carpets. Louie Carini, owner of San Diego Odor Control, estimates the cost for cleaning an 1,800-square-foot home where there has been heavy smoking can range from $1,500 to $3,000, plus the cost of new carpeting.

A few years ago, if you asked smokers to clean up their homes before putting them on the market, they often were offended, Kent says. Today, they no longer put up a fight. They know that public expectations for smoke-free environments are rising, Kent says. “The owners totally get it.”

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune, Emmet Pierce (10/15/06)

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