Selling a Home with Pets Takes a Bit of Extra Work
I consider my dog Stella part of my family. That's not unusual: We pet owners typically consider our cats, dogs and parakeets as important family members.
But when you're selling a home, these furry -- or feathery -- friends can cause problems. Many of your potential buyers won't be pet owners. Some might even be allergic to dogs or cats. If they walk into your home and sniff evidence of your pet family members? They might be left with a negative first impression. And that's never a good way to encourage a sale.
So before you sell your residence, you'll need to take important steps to remove the evidence that your house is also home to cats, dogs or other pets.
Pay for a Deep Cleaning
This doesn't mean just sweeping and vacuuming. It means hiring professionals to clean your home's duct work, remove any dust from under your appliances, reach deep into dark closets and get to all those hard-to-reach corners and nooks.
A deep cleaning should remove any traces of pet odor. Even if you don't notice the scent of dog or cat when you enter your home, you can bet that buyers will. You want the aroma of your pet family members gone before buyers tour your residence.
Hide Your Pet's Belongings
Make sure that your pet's belongings are not visible to potential buyers who are touring your home. This means removing dog crates, pet blankets, litter boxes, pet beds and all pet toys. Don't leave out bowls of cat or dog food, either. You don't want to leave behind any evidence that you own pets.
Take care of your home's exterior, too. Many times, pets will dig holes in your front or back yard. Make sure to fill these in and replace any landscape features that your pets might have damaged. And, of course, make sure that you've cleaned up after your pets if they use your backyard as their bathroom!
Take a close look at your home's interiors, too. Have your pets damaged or clawed the walls or floors? If so, make those repairs. You want your home to look as clean, new and airy as possible. Don't let pet damage chase possible buyers away.
Remove Your Pets
You certainly don't want to leave your pets in the home when buyers are touring it. Even if you crate your dog in the basement, buyers won't appreciate all the barking that might result. You might consider boarding your pets or sending them to live with a friend or relative when you are selling your home. If that's not possible, be certain to at least remove your pet -- and yourself -- from the home when you are showing it. You don't want your pet dog growling or cat hissing at potential buyers.
Yes, this is a bit of a pain. But removing pets -- and the evidence of them -- from a home is a necessary step to closing a sale.