How To Sell A Home When You Have Pets

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 08 January 2014 09:10
Home Sale With Pets Home Sale With Pets Home Sale With Pets

As much as you may love your dog or cat, having a pet can make it hard to sell your home for as much as you’d like. There are quite a few things to consider when selling a home with pets. Pets tend to leave their mark on a house and a buyer will consider this when making an offer. This is why it is so important to do everything you can to get your house in tiptop shape before you put it up on the market. Deep cleaning and repair work are must if you want to command top dollar for your property.

While talking to your Realtor for advice specific to your home is best, here are a few ideas for getting your home ready to sell.

Getting Ready to Sell With Pets

Start with your vet – It’s always best to consult with your vet before doing anything major with your pet. Consider your plan to prep your home, discuss it with your vet and then begin planning your course of action.

Relocating your pet – If you can handle the separation, relocating your pet to a friend or family member’s house while you prepare and sell your home is worth considering. This will keep the animal from damaging any repair work you do, making any more messes and will allow you to show the house at any time.

Pet-free showings - Even if you are not willing to relocate your animal for the duration of the sale, you should at least have it stay at a friend’s place while you are showing the house. You don’t want your home associated with pets if at all possible to prevent buyers from asking questions and worrying about potential problems. Doing this also makes it easier on your Realtor when he or she is showing the home. If you can't find a friend willing to take your pet for a little while at the very least consider putting them in a contained area where a buyer can walk around the rest of the home freely without interruption.

Repairs – Repair anything that the pet damaged. This includes putting in new sod if the grass is worn down, replacing anything that has been chewed on or scratched up and any other problem areas. The closer you can make it to “good as new”, the better.

Odor and stain removal – The last thing you want a buyer to notice when they look view your home is unpleasant odors. Bad smells can stick in the mind long after everything else is forgotten. Have your house professionally cleaned and replace any carpets where staining or odors remain. Strong smells like urine will tend to really leave a negative impression in the mind of a buyer. This is the last thing you want!

Clean up the yard – Make certain your yard is clean of all pet waste and replace any plants that show damage from pets. Repair any damaged fence as well. A huge turnoff for buyers is when they want to look at the yard and have to navigate through a ton of "land mines".

Erase all signs – Store all pet toys, bedding and food somewhere besides your home. Remove litter boxes as well. Also, some Realtors recommend removing any photographs containing your pet. Whether you do this is up to you, but the less prompts potential buyers get to ask about pets the better. Staging your home can become even more important when you have pets.

Be prepared

You may do everything on this list and still have a buyer ask about your pets. There is little you can do in this situation but answer honestly. However, you can also take comfort knowing that you have done everything possible to return the house to the state it was in before the pet arrived. A clean and functioning home is appealing to buyers, and your repair and cleaning work should make the house as desirable as any other similar home.

Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized Real Estate leader who has been helping people move in and out of the Metrowest Massachusetts area for the past twenty six plus years. He has been one of the top RE/MAX Realtors in New England for the past decade. In 2012 he was the #1 RE/MAX agent in all of New England. Connect with him on

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