You love your dog Fido and your cat Snuggles, they are part of the family. Unfortunately, when selling your home, Fido and Snuggles may impede you from getting top dollar. Regardless of whether the buyers touring your home like or have domesticated animals, they do not want to purchase a home that has the tell-tale signs of pets. If you are thinking of selling and have a pet in your home consider these tips before putting your home on the market.
1. Most Sellers do not like it when I suggest this but it is truly the easiest and best way to sell your home: re-locate your pets. It is not good enough to leave them in the garage or leave them in a cage or worse, have them roam freely during showings. Those options really are not fair to your pets either. They are likely to be really nervous and stressed that strangers are going through the home. Also, some buyers will simply be afraid or grossed out by the presence of a pet in a home. I remember showing a property when a cat was walking around on the kitchen counter tops. The buyer was turned off by this. Also, you do not want the liability if a pet bites a buyer. If you relocate your pet, it helps maintain the staging of the home as you do not have to continually clean up after them. Consider the following:
- Send your pet with a family member or friend.
- Send your pet on vacation or to a kennel.
- Move out and take the pet with you.
If you cannot find a way to relocate them on a longer term basis, you could compromise by taking them to work for the day or arranging for a dog sitter to remove the pet from the home prior to a showing. Do find a solution to allow quick and easy access to your home. The last thing you want is to turn away a showing because of your pet.
2. Remove all signs of a pet living in the home. This includes all of the following:
- Repair any damage done by a pet like scratched baseboards, doors and chewed bannisters.
- Pack away cat trees.
- Put away all pet beds and toys.
- Remove pet bowls.
- Hide pet cages and carriers and any other obvious pet items.
- Pick up dog doo-doo on your lawn.
3. The biggest problem when selling a home with pets is pet odour. The last thing you want is your home to be nicknamed “The Cat Pee House” or my personal favourite “The Pee Pee Poo Poo House”. First, you need a friend to come over to do a “sniff test”, ideally someone who does not have pets. Second, remove all sources of pet odours and CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. Steam clean carpets and cloth furniture and remove kitty litters (this is a very offensive smell). If you are looking for a great product to use consider Arm & Hammer Pet Stain & Odour Control. Please, please do NOT use air fresheners to mask these odours. That will only make it worse.
You may be asking yourself, “Is this all really necessary?” The answer to that is no, but, expect the offers you receive to reflect the condition of your home. You want your listing to show like a model home and to appeal to the broadest range of buyers. The buyer needs to be able to imagine themselves living there free from too many of your personal things and that includes your pets.
Have more questions about selling your home? Call or text me at 519-859-7792.