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Selling Your Home with Pets

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Selling Your Home with Pets

Lori Auerbach
Realtor- Vanderblue Team/Higgins Group Private Brokerage

If you own a dog, cat or other pets and plan to list your residence soon, there may be no time like the present to prepare your home. While many homeowners consider their pets as family members, there are homebuyers that choose to differ.  They need to be able to picture themselves in your home.
When you live with pets you may not notice odors, household damages, or even outdoor turf wear and tear. You need a neutral person, such as your Realtor to walk through your home and provide suggestion on how to make your home appeal to the broadest range of homebuyers.
1. Odors: Strong odors are one of the main reasons buyers will be turned off by a home when they step through the front door.  By performing extensive home cleaning you can eliminate pet odors from your residence and ensure that your house is show-ready.
When was the last time that you gave your pet a bath? If it's been a few months, now may be the perfect time to wash your pet thoroughly. Ideally, you should bathe your pet at least every two weeks. This will help reduce the risk of pet odors that can emanate throughout your residence.
Pet beds may be used frequently, and as a result, can collect assorted pet odors over time. Be sure to clean your pet's bed on a monthly basis. This will ensure pet odors won't linger for an extended period of time.  The same goes for hamster and guinea pig cages; clean them daily if necessary.
Litter boxes should be cleaned daily and tucked out of sight.  Some homeowners invest in the self-cleaning litter box to make certain litter is cleaned frequently.
2. Household cleaning and repairs: Pet hair and dander in your home can be an immediate allergy trigger and its a sure fire way to lose a potential buyer. Vacuum floors, furniture and even drapes frequently.  Brush your pet outdoors to curb indoor shedding.
Take a close look at your hardwood floors, walls, moldings, doors and trim.  If your pets nails have left behind unsightly scratches it would be a good idea to have the floors repaired and many times this can be done without having to move out of the house. There are sandless floor rejuvenation treatments that produce amazing results.  Take the time to repair scratches on doors and trim before painting.
Carpets or rugs that have been chewed or clawed need to be repaired or completely replaced.
3. Your Great Outdoors: Buyers will always access your outdoor areas so you will want to make all necessary lawn repairs. Fill in any holes that Fido has dug; aerate and seed any bare spots in the yard.  Most importantly, be diligent with dog waste removal and double bag it before disposing in your outdoor garbage.  You might even want to train Fido to use an out of the way corner of the yard.
4. Pet Prep for Showings: While I am a pet lover, many buyers are not.  Also, buyers that bring along their children may not feel comfortable with pets in the home during showings.  Plan ahead to either confine the pets in a crate in special area or have a pet sitter take them for a walk.  At the Vanderblue Team, for example, we offer pet walking services to our home sellers.  If you choose to crate your pet they might enjoy a special treat or toy to keep them occupied. Make certain to discuss your plan with your Realtor so they know where the pet(s) will be located during showings.
Remove or hide all pet related items- beds, toys, meal/water bowls and leashes should be stashed out of sight.  Remember, homebuyers need to se themselves in your home and if that vision excludes a pet, thats experience you want to offer.
5. Call in the professionals: Feeling overwhelmed? Dont hesitate to reach out for professional assistance, whether for home repairs or cleaning. If vacuuming the furniture, scrubbing the floors and other home cleaning tasks aren't enough to eliminate pet odors, it may be worthwhile to reach out to a professional home cleaning company for extra help.  A home cleaning company (your Realtor can recommend one) will allocate significant time and resources to clean your residence from top to bottom.
As a home seller, it is essential to do everything possible to keep your house looking and smelling great. Follow the steps above, and your home will look show-ready in no time at all.


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