A Seller during the summer
4 Tips for Selling Homes with Pets that Won’t Put You in the Doghouse
Selling a home is stressful enough for home owners, but
selling a home with pets can be even more stressful. In addition to the usual concerns home owners have, clients with pets also have to consider if they should move their animals out while the home is for sale, how much it will cost to repair any pet-related damage and if pet odor will deter potential buyers.
Unfortunately for pet owners, the truth is that pets can turn away potential buyers and even lower the perceived value of their home if they are not addressed prior to listing. However, when properly prepared, homes with pets can be cleaned and staged in a way that makes the existence of the pets almost undetectable.
1. Eliminate Pet Odor
Our sense of smell has a powerful effect on our emotions and on our perception. The scent of pet odor in a house is sure to stick in a potential buyer’s mind, and this will likely cause them to deduct the cost of carpet replacement from their offer. Even worse, if a buyer walks in the home and smells a dirty cat litter box or soiled carpet, they might not even proceed with the tour. To eliminate pet odor and keep potential buyers moving through the home, consider the following:
If not replacing carpet, have it professionally steam cleaned. Don’t forget to also clean upholstered furniture and area rugs. Any surface that holds in pet odor should be cleaned, replaced or removed.
Weather permitting, advise clients to open windows for a few days leading up to showings to help air out the home.
Be cautious when using air fresheners. You don’t want buyers to be blasted with the smell of artificial flowers that scream the seller is hiding an odor. Some fresh flowers can not only help with fragrance, but also add to the home
staging. Also consider air neutralizers and odor absorbing products. Rather than masking the smell, these items actually absorb odor and neutralize the air.
Consider placing an air purifier in the pet’s main living area to filter the air.
Replace air filters that might have trapped pet dander and odor.
2. Repair Pet-Related Damage to Home and Yard
Over-seed the yard or patch lawn areas to repair brown spots.
Fill in holes created by canine gardeners. Not only are they unsightly, they can be potentially dangerous if someone were to trip in it.
If doors and/or window screens have been damaged and scratched, replace them.
Clean pet hair from hard-to-reach places such as behind appliances and behind doors.
If wood or laminate flooring is scratched beyond repair, consider repairing the floor. This might be a large investment up front, but it can yield great results at sale.
3. Consider that potential buyers might be afraid of animals.
For pets that are not already crate trained, it can take time for them to enjoy being in the crate. This is not only essential for the safety of potential buyers, but it also protects animals from getting out of the house, getting hurt, or causing harm to others.