4 Tips for Selling Your Home When You Have Pets

If you have pets, you know that they become part of the family. Just like your two-legged family members, you probably don’t notice the traces your pets leave behind. But, pets can have an effect on how easy it is to sell your home. Use these tips to make sure that potential buyers love your home, even if they don’t love your pets.

1. Have your soft surfaces professionally cleaned.

Pets have their own scents. You may not notice it, but those scents will indeed transfer to your rugs, carpeting, and furniture. Besides that, very few pet owners can live in a home for years without some pet mishaps that involve the carpeting.

It may not be due to poor house-training. Your dog might have helped herself to the roast cooling on the counter, which upset her stomach and prevented her from making it outside to do her business. Your cat might get hairballs and rid himself of the problem on the carpeting. It’s always a good idea to get your carpets cleaned before listing your home. It’s even more important when you have pets.

Vacuum your home frequently to make sure there is no telltale hair on the floors and furniture. Brush your cats, and brush and bathe your dogs regularly while your home is on the market. There’s no sense cleaning all your soft surfaces if your pets will simply replace the hair and odors.

2. Eliminate Signs Your Pets Have Left Behind

Take a good look around your home to identify and repair things that indicate that pets live there. Fix the scratches on the floor and the chew marks on the doors or windows. Fill in the holes dug in the yard and replace the rugs if Fido chewed a hole in them, too.

Potential buyers will want to take a good look at your front and back yard. Make sure you keep those areas clean if your pets use them as an outhouse. Nothing will give a buyer a bad memory of your home faster than the need to clean their shoes before they get back in their car.

Clean your cat’s litter box. Discard all of the litter and give the litter box a deep cleaning. If you’ve had the box for a long time, consider investing in a new one. Then, clean the litter box daily – even after each use if it’s possible.

3. Ask a Friend

Ask for help from a friend who will be honest with you. Invite them over to tell you if they can see or smell anything that says “pets.” You may think your litter box has no odor, but you live there day after day. Bring in a fresh nose to help you spot things you can’t.

4. De-Pet Your Home for Showings

The best approach for showings is to remove your pets from your home. Even putting your dog in the backyard or a locked room isn’t good enough. Buyers will want to see that locked room and the odds are that your dog will bark his head off in the backyard. There are many alternatives to removing your pets. You can take them all for a ride during a showing, treating them to a visit to the groomer or a daycare center, or letting a friend care for them.

It’s also a good idea to remove other signs of your pets. Remove your pet’s food bowls, put the litter box in the garage, pick up pet toys and store them away, pack up your cat trees, and remove cages and carriers.

You may be thinking that other pet owners won’t mind if your friendly dog greets them when they arrive for a showing or if they trip over cat toys. But, in reality, you don’t want anything to prevent you from selling your home for top dollar. There’s no guarantee that prospective home buyers will love your fur babies, so it’s safer to remove pets from the equation when buyers are deciding whether to purchase your home.

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