Smoke-Free Homes Are Good For The Real Estate Market

Guest Blogger: Jo Becker, Education/Outreach Specialist, Fair Housing Council of Oregon

(See below for FREE  materials you can copy and customize for with your clients!)______________________________________________________________________

As sales professionals, you know the importance of resale value. You most likely counsel your clients on a myriad of ways to protect and enhance property value. Something gaining in importance, as fewer and fewer people smoke and most smokers smoke outside, is the detrimental impact of smoking on the salability of a home.

We’ve all been in them… those listings that smell so bad folks turn around and walk right back out. Hopefully that wasn’t your own listing! But even if it was, fear not. The good news is there are new tools available for you to use with your clients! In collaboration with the Oregon Smokefree Housing Project (funded by the Oregon Health Authority), we have created four pieces for you to personalize with your name and contact info. and pass on to clients and prospects:

Two articles are available in Word for you to copy / paste into your own print or electronic newsletters or other mailings:

1. Article for Homeowners: This article is for folks who may not be thinking about resale value now but, as their trusted agent, you can help them keep such important principals in mind for when they do sell. They may not consider the long-term effect that smoking (or allowing others to smoke) in their home will have on how much they can get for the property, or how long it takes to sell it. This article will help enlighten them; for example, did you know 91% of Oregonians prefer housing that has not been smoked in?

2. Article for Residential Investors: This market is very bottom line conscious. They are probably well aware how costly it is to turnover a unit that’s been smoked in but they may not realize that it is not only legal, but a current trend, to implement no-smoking policies for rentals. By using this article to keep in touch with them you can go a step further then discussing obvious clean up costs to actually quantify the market demand for no-smoking rentals. Did you realize that even of those who smoke, 69% of them choose not to do so in their own homes? The vast majority of the marketplace wants “smokefree” housing making no-smoking policies a win-win for investors.

3. “Preparing Your Home for Sale” is a handout you can share with all of your sellers. It offers comprehensive staging and preparation tips from the exterior to interior including the front façade, the grounds, the garage, and the kitchen. The sheet includes practical and thoughtful points, including a few having to do with cigarette damage.

4. “Smells Don’t Sell” is intended for those listings that specifically face odor issues, whether the source is smoking, pets, cooking, musty odors. It offers tips on addressing the problem and is an instructive guide whether the client attempts it as a do-it-yourself project or hires a professional.

We all know that being top of mind is the name of the game when that former client or new prospect decides now is the time to sell. We hope these tools will help with that.

You can find all of these free Realtor® resource tools online at

These resources brought to you by the Fair Housing Council; a nonprofit serving the state of Oregon and SW Washington. Learn more and / or sign up for our free, periodic newsletter at

Questions about your rights and responsibilities under fair housing laws? Visit  or call 1-800-424-3247 Ext. 2.

Qs about this article? Want to schedule an in-office fair housing training program or speaker for corporate or association functions? Contact Jo Becker at or 503/453-4016.

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