Your pets are a member of your family, and you love them as such, but when it’s time to sell your home, they can create a bit of a challenge in a few key ways.
You’re not alone if you’re trying to sell a home and you have pets. Around 60% of sellers have them, with 49% being dogs and 33% being cats. However, buyers either want to visualize their own pets in the home or, depending on their preferences, no pets at all.
Pets can also create messes and odors that can turn buyers off.
With that in mind, the following are some things to make sure you do before you try to sell a home where pets live.
It’s important when your house is on the market that you keep it incredibly clean, and especially if you have pets. You want to make sure you get to the root cause of any odors as well.
For example, if you have rugs or carpets, you might need to have them professionally cleaned or even replaced to eliminate pet odors.
When you shampoo your carpets and rugs, it will draw odors out. You may need to do the same for your furniture.
Vacuum your home every day to further get rid of odors as well as fur and dander.
If there are any lingering odors after you deep clean, don’t just try to mask them. Instead, work to truly get rid of them. There are pet enzyme cleaners that work well. You might also want to put an air purifier in your home with a HEPA filter.
You have to be conscious of not just odors and cleanliness when you have pets, but there may be people who come into your home with pet allergies. You really want to focus on getting into every corner when you clean to erase any and all evidence of your animals.
Pets can be destructive, and you may overlook some of this damage because you’re used to it, but possible buyers aren’t. Go through your home with fresh eyes and look for any pet damage that needs to be repaired, like scratched or torn furniture or flooring, chew marks on baseboard or window sills, or ripped curtains.
You need to do the same outside of your house too. Clean up pet waste, and cover any signs of digging in your lawn. Repair damaged fences and window screens too.
Put Away Signs of a Pet
Just like it’s a good idea to de-clutter and de-personalize your entire house when you’re preparing to sell it, you similarly want to de-pet your home. This means that you take out any cages, kennels, or play items. You should pack them up when your home is going to be shown. Put toys away, as well as food and water bowls.
Not everyone loves pets as much as you do, so if you can erase the evidence that they live there, that’s a good thing.
What About Showings?
If at all possible, put your pets elsewhere during showings and open houses. Maybe you put them at your neighbor’s house, for example, or you might even want to professionally board them. It’s really distracting to have your pets trying to escape their kennels when someone is looking at your house.
If your pets do have to stay at home, come up with a solution with your real estate agent. Don’t have them be surprised by your pets.
For example, maybe you can put them in the basement and leave a few notes if necessary.
Tell people in your note they shouldn’t try to pet your dog or cat, even if they’re friendly, because you never know how your animals will react to unfamiliar people, especially if you’re not around.
Finally, talk to your real estate agent about giving you plenty of notice before a showing so you can arrange care for your animals whenever possible.