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Top 3 Tips for Selling a House with Pets

Posted By Shirley Smith @ Jan 20th 2016 2:30pm In: General Real Estate

How to Sell a Home When you Have Pets

I have pets and I adore them! For pet lovers like me, it's hard to imagine other people's dislike with pets. But considering that not everybody grew up with a family pet or had been exposed to interacting with animals, the dislike, fear, nervousness, or inexperience are understandable reasons for not wanting pets at home. The reality is, you will possibly encounter buyers like this in the process of selling your home. So, while this might be a bitter pill to swallow, if you want to get top dollar for your house, know these tips to avoid pet-owner pitfalls. 

1. Relocate your Pets. At least while your home is on the market.

You will get viewings from interested buyers and you do not want to put off a potential buyer who might just have an allergy or worse, a phobia (or just plain dislike) with pets by showing off your adorable furball. A band-aid fix is to put your pet in the back yard, in the garage or in another room that you keep locked but remember, this is not only insufficient but more importantly, it's not fair to the animal. Relocating your cat or dog from the house in the meantime can avoid distractions and help you better prepare for showing your home. 

During showing schedules, let a friend or relative care for your dear pets or board them at a kennel. Better yet, send them on vacation while you stay at home attending to your buyers. Your pets might just welcome the break! 

2. Minimize Traces of your Pets at Home

Cat Litter Boxes & Dog Potty Pads

Keep them out of sight and immaculately clean. Nothing turns off buyers faster than opening the door to the laundry room and being greeted by a full or stinky cat box.

Carpet & Floor Pet Stains

Hire professionals to remove the stains to ensure the carpet or floor looks its best. If a buyer spots the dirt, it immediately gives a bad impression on the shape of your home and forms unfavorable opinions about the rest of the house. If the stains can't be removed, then replace the floor covering to make it look new. 

Pet Odors and Smells

Cat urine is the ultimate ambiance breaker. It is the worst. Do not just use air fresheners as people with allergies will react. Do a general cleaning of your home making sure everything is not only clean on the surface, but also smells and feels clean. 

Pet Essentials and Accessories 

  • Put pet toys away
  • Pack up cat trees and other signs of cat paraphernalia 
  • Put away food and water bowls when not in use.

3. Remove Tell-Tale Signs of Pets at Home

Uh-oh...not good news for any pet parents. Just remember that you don't need to advertise your pets, you just need it for your home. Removing signs that you have a pet is simply smart practice. Why turn off a buyer at the get-go? It's those first impressions that are crucial.

Things to remember are the following:

  • Do not put photos online showing your cat or dog sleeping snuggled in bed or snoozing on the couch.
  • Seal up doggie doors
  • Vacuum religiously, every day, sometimes twice a day. Those fur can be nasty clingers. 
  • Remove photos of pets from refrigerator, walls and table tops. Store them for now. Don't worry, they're not going anywhere where they are safely kept. 
  • Pack up all cages, carriers and other tell-tale signs


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