Almost everybody loves pets except the home buyer who is buying your house. Don’t ask me why, but that’s often how it works out. Home sellers who adore their pets have a hard time imagining the negative attitudes others harbor against pets. So, while this might be a bitter pill to swallow, if you want to get top dollar for your house, pay attention to how much you might lose with a dog or cat in residence.
#1 Preferred Pet Solution: You’re not going to like this but I’ll say it anyway, fully realizing that this very excellent piece of advice is likely to fall on deaf ears. The best thing to do to ensure top price for your home is to relocate your pets while your home is on the market. Putting them in the back yard, in the garage or in another room that you keep locked is insufficient, and it’s not fair to them. You need to remove them from the house.
- Let a friend or relative care for Fluffy and Spike.
- Board them at a kennel.
- Send them on vacation.
Overcoming Negatives Associated with Your Pets: If you shrug off all professional advice and absolutely refuse to move your pets out of the house, then at least minimize the objections and nuisance factors, real or otherwise:
- Cat Litter Boxes & Dog Potty Pads – Keep them out of sight and impeccably 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. Buyers will spot them and form unfavorable opinions about the rest of the house. If the stains can’t be removed, then remove the floor covering and replace it.
- Pet Odors and Smells
- Cat urine is the worst. Without question. The. Worst. Bring in a neighbor to do a whiff test.
- Do not use air fresheners. People with allergies will react.
- Try enzyme cleaners such as Simple Solution , Nature’s Miracle or call a professional ozone company.
Remove Signs of a Pet: You may be required by state law to disclose that pets have lived in your home, but you don’t need to advertise that pets live at your house. 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 so all-fired important.
- Do not put photos online showing your cat asleep on the bed
- Seal up doggie doors
- Put away food and water bowls when not in use
- Vacuum religiously, every day, sometimes twice a day
- Pick up pet toys and put them away
- Pack up cat trees and other signs of cat paraphernalia (you know who you are)
- Remove photos of pets from refrigerator, walls and table tops
- Pack up all cages, carriers and other tell-tale signs
Showing Your House – Put your pets into a carrier and attach a note warning buyers not to disturb them. The last thing you need is somebody sticking their hand inside the carrier and getting bit or scratched. You can’t predict how your pet will react when locked up and alone.
Have a quick pre-showing clean-up routine – After your house is cleaned “to the bone,” it’s much easier to tidy up in a hurry. Some tips are a quick swiffer for hardwoods, or vaccum job for carpet. Keep a blanket on any/all furniture that your pet may cuddle up on. That way, it’s easily thrown in the washing machine, right before you have a showing. It will do wonders eliminating pet fur as well as odors from your home. De-nose your windows! We know how dogs love to stare out a front window or door to see which squirrels or birds are about for the day. But, no buyer will think those cute little dog smudges are as cute as you do. Grab a quick spray of windex, and smudges are squeaky clean!
Curb your pet! – You never get a second chance to make a first impression! Curb appeal is hugely important to buyers, so let’s make sure that all outside areas of your home are pet free as well. From your front yard, your back yard, your courtyard, etc. Make sure your puppy’s playground shows no signs of pets. Pay attention and remove all sticks, toys and ALL OTHER debris that may be present.