When the Wag Isn’t a Friendly Welcome: How to Sell a House with Pets

Many Americans are pet owners. When you are looking for a new home and have pets, you are taking their needs into consideration as well. However, selling as a pet owner can be a challenge.

About sixty percent of people selling in the market own pets, and nearly fifty percent of owners have dogs. We love our furry friends, but signs or traces of them in your home can turn away potential buyers. Keep reading for helping tips for selling your home as a pet owner.

Remove all evidence of pets

When you prepare for a showing, make sure to remove personal photos and keepsakes, including those of your pets. Interested buyers like to imagine the home they step into as their future home, so it’s important that you and your pet aren’t present at the showing.

Get rid of litter boxes, leashes, toys, crates, food and water bowls. Make sure to declutter your space and don’t forget to check under the couch for half-chewed bones or toys.

Every pet is different when it comes to changing environments. If you see your pet showing signs of anxiety during the process, consider reaching out to your vet about how to best help your pet during this change.

Can’t arrange accommodations for your pet before your showing?

If you are unable to remove your pet before a showing, make sure they are in a crate or kennel. Have a note next to them asking viewers to leave the pet alone. If you can’t make it before the showing, have your agent crate your pet and be sure to leave treats or toys for your agent to use to help your animals cooperate. Don’t ever hide your pet. Viewers like to peer behind cabinets and closets.

Deep clean and freshen up

Most animals give off odors that homeowners become used to. However, viewers will pick up a house’s scent the second they walk through the door. Deodorize and deep clean your space to remove unpleasant odors.

Perfumed sprays or scented products should be avoided, especially strong perfumes. Enzyme cleaner or a pet-specific deodorizer neutralizes smells. Wash everything: curtains, pillow covers, towels, comforters and blankets, and steam clean your floors and furniture.

Replace your air filters and add a HEPA filter to help absorb pet dander and particles that create the odor.

If you still aren’t sure about how your house smells after a deep clean, invite a friend over for an honest opinion before a showing.

Repair pet damage

We get used to damage caused by our pets. We don’t easily notice the scratches on doors or stains on rugs. But potential buyers look closely at homes when viewing, and scratches and stains can give off a poor impression. Examine your home from top to bottom to identify problem areas. Then repair it or remove it.

A few things to look for: scratches or chew marks on door frames, baseboards, and floors, stains, yard damage, pet waste, torn carpets and curtains.

Lastly, check on your neighborhood pets

Occasionally, your neighbor’s loud dog can be the one turning buyers away. If you have a good relationship with your neighbors, consider asking them to keep their pet inside during the showing. Offer to pay for a dog walker or doggy daycare, and if they decline, use white noise like a water feature or keep your windows closed to mute the noise.

Still unsure how best to handle your pet during a showing? Always consult a top-notch real estate agent for the best advice.

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