How to Get Your Pet-Friendly House Ready to Sell

Written by Posted On Monday, 29 January 2018 10:51
Adorable pets Adorable pets Krista Mangulsone

How to Get Your Pet-Friendly House Ready to Sell

Image via Krista Mangulsone

Owning your own home is great when you have pets. You don’t have to worry about hunting for pet-friendly rentals or paying exorbitant pet fees, and you can make home updates like fencing and dog doors to make life with pets easier. However, pets in a home can sometimes hinder its sale. Since even the most well-behaved dogs and cats can damage a home, some buyers see indoor animals as a red flag. With that in mind, how can you ensure the sale of your pet-friendly home goes smoothly? Here are a few things pet owners should do when selling their home.

Deep Clean

You may not notice it yourself, but if you own pets, there’s a good chance your home is harboring the dreaded pet smell. Even if your pet has never had an accident inside, the natural scent of their fur and glands can lead to lingering odors. Vacuuming and sweeping isn’t enough to completely eliminate them from your home; you’ll need a professional-quality deep cleaning. The most expensive part of a deep house cleaning is usually the carpets. Other than carpets, you’ll want to shampoo upholstered furniture and wash linens like curtains.

Once your home is smelling fresh, you need to maintain it throughout the selling process. Vacuum and mop daily to keep up with pet hair and consider keeping pets out of carpeted rooms and using slipcovers on upholstered furniture until after your home is sold.

Repair Pet Damage

While pets can cause major destruction to a home, like chewing through a wall, most pet damage comes from everyday living. Untrimmed nails scratch hardwood floors, accidents curl laminate flooring and stain wood, and play sessions can lead to scratched and scuffed walls. Outside, the lawn might have dead patches in your dog’s favorite bathroom spots or holes from digging. It’s important that homeowners repair these things before listing their home, because while you might not notice gnaw marks on the baseboards, potential buyers certainly will.

Ask your realtor or an honest friend to walk through the house with you and point out any damage they notice. Another person’s input will help identify minor damage you might otherwise overlook. You can hire a handyman to take care of most repairs in a few days time, but if you intend to handle repairs yourself you should plan for a couple of weeks.

Keep Showings Pet-Free

Everything is cleaned, fixed, and properly staged (need help? Follow this step-by-step guide). Now it’s time to start showing your house to prospective buyers. Rule number one? Keep pets out of the house. While shutting a cat in the spare bedroom or putting the dog in the backyard might seem like an acceptable solution, it prevents buyers from seeing the whole house and is a distraction. You want buyers to remember your house, not your dog.

Likewise, don’t bring pets to viewings or open houses with you. Not all homeowners enjoy pets, and unless you have a service animal, it’s poor etiquette to assume your pet is welcome.

While you could arrange for boarding when a showing or open house is scheduled, it’s also an opportunity to enjoy a day out with your dog. Take a long walk or spend the day at some local pet-friendly places.

Pets can make selling your house a little more challenging, but they also make life that much sweeter. Go into your home sale with a plan, and you can ensure your house is a market success.

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