The most tactful way is to just be upfront about it. Tell them what they have to do if they want to sell the house. Honestly, that is your job and you aren't going to sell a smoky house at market value because it isn't worth that. Why take a listing you can't sell?
Let me add another point element that may be of help. Keep in mind, this issue is a NEGOTIATION and should be approached as such. If these folks are truly wanting to sell. then that is the outcome they are seeking. Keep that at the top of everyone's goal.
Feedback for other real estate professionals is not worth the time or paper it appears on in the eyes of the seller. They already know the results will be...."REDUCE THE PRICE!" Using peer feedback may result in the doorway to negotiation being nailed tightly shut.
Consider one of the following:
1. Place a prominent display in home with the banner.."I NEED YOUR HELP' and ask the visiting buyer, not the agent, to anonymously provide feedback regarding the home. Items such as, curb appeal, condition, size, upgrades, and landscaping should be there. Then slip in OTHER: ________. By not steering the visitor into a specific comment, what is volunteered will possess true relevance.
2. Open House - use same tactic as in Number 1. This is a great time in query your Open House visitors regarding how they go about their home search.
Finally, advise the homeowner, "Investors LOVE stinky homes. Why? Buyers don't want them." Investors will discount their offer 40%. Be aware, the damage is already done, all you are doing is allowing the home owner to come to your side of the negotiation equation.
Best of success.
They listened. :)
When a seller hires you to sell their home they are also buying your expertise. Unless you find another heavy smoker a smoker's home won't sell. So the recommendation to STOP smoking and take corrective measures to remove the smell such as re-painting and carpet cleaning must be firm and up front. If the seller isn't in agreement I would not accept the listing.
As the old saying goes. "If you can smell it you can't sell it!"
You can ask agents and their buyers to provide feedback on one thing they found wrong with the house --- I'll bet they all come up with the same thing: smoke odor! Then give that feedback to the seller. If the seller won't listen to you, it's better that it come from the potential buyers.
Prior to listing a home, I attempt to explain to the seller that some people are allergic to cigarette smoke, therefore in order to get their home sold they need to consider smoking outside of the home.
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
With this said, the field of potential buyers for any similar property is seriously deminished because of the smoke issue.
As far as, how much to discount the property......that would be "guess work...." but a direction could be created by feedback provided by agents/buyers that have previewed the property.
Additionally, as an agent with this concern, I would arrange for a "caravan" of agents from my office to preview the property with this and other issues in mind. Their feedback should give you the fire power to generate a price based on the issues at hand.
There is safety( and often wisdom) in numbers.