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Last updated: March 16, 2021 • Marketing Tips

5 Helpful Tips for Selling a Home with Pets

Even if your furred or feathered companion is the most adorable little thing you’ve ever seen, prospective homebuyers might not feel the same way. Whether a buyer or their agent are animal lovers or not, pets can actually get in the way of a sale in a several different ways. To ensure that that doesn’t happen, here are several helpful tips for selling a home with pets:

1) Send Your Pets on a Vacation

jack russel dog resting on beach chair

Tip number one for selling a home with pets is to send them on a mini-vacation. You might not like the idea of being apart from your pets but it is necessary if you aim to drag a sale over the line with little fuss. Apart from the possibility of triggering allergies or phobias, pets can also obstruct how the buyer envisions their life in the property they are interested in buying. A dog or cat might not be in their picture-perfect dream and they could, in fact, serve as distractions that hamper that vision altogether.

Moreover, incessant barking in the background is another problem frowned upon by real estate agents who have cited the difficulty in holding conversations over such noise, which can also put buyers off. The worst-case scenario of having a pet is that it might not take too kindly to a stranger’s advances, thereby causing harm and possibly inviting legal action.

Then there are always the escape artists! Cats and dogs alike can be fast and some are runners. Even if everyone knows the cat is a runner it doesn’t mean they’ll remember to close the door any faster. A situation like this can make a showing go south real quick. Suddenly, the buyer who came to view your home is now focused on finding your pet. Will they still want to look at your home or come back at a later date? Possibly, it might all depend on whether or not your furry friend was found.

2) Set Aside a Cozy Spot

dog poses in laundry room

If the preceding option is simply unthinkable for you, then rest easy as we have another alternative. Tip number two for selling a home with pets is finding a secluded space somewhere comfortable in or around the house. It has to be somewhere out of sight, the backyard perhaps, where it’s not the first thing buyers see when they walk up the curb. The laundry room, guest bedroom, or garage are other options.

It also has to be someplace roomy but at the same time someplace where it will not hinder a house tour; the kitchen is definitely a no-no. A lot of buyers and agents tend to gather and converse in the kitchen or family room. Agitated pets can get noisy, so you’ll want to find a spot where a buyer isn’t going to spend a lot of time. Once again, if possible, it’s always best to remove pets. However, if you are unable to, then make sure the pet hinders showings as little as possible.

3) Get Rid of Any Signs of Furry Roomies

Tip number three for selling a home with pets is to remove their existence. Aside from an absence of their presence, you also need to clean up that trail of breadcrumbs that prove that you own a pet. Yes, staging your home is even more important when you have pets. Keep the water bowls and feeding dishes hidden but for kennels and other big pet accessories that can’t easily be moved have them stored in one area. If you’re able to store them in a garage or shed that’s even better.

Also, remember to cover up scratches and nose marks on the sliding glass doors or windows. Yep, these little signs will be noticed especially by homebuyers that don’t own pets. If your pet has caused damage that can’t easily be covered up, like chewed baseboards or broken blinds, fix it!

While some of this damage may be minor in your eyes, it could be major for some buyers. A pet residing in the property is one thing. A pet who might actively be damaging the property is another. Some buyers won’t risk purchasing a home that clearly has damage from a pet, which could very well be from years ago when they were a puppy. So make repairs and replacements prior to listing your home for sale!

On the other hand, fish tanks could actually do you more good than harm as long as they are in excellent condition with the keyword to remember here being fish. On the other hand, tarantulas, snakes, and bearded dragons might seem cute and cuddly to you, but they are the very stuff of nightmares to others. These types of pets should be a lot easier to temporarily rehome while your house is on the market, which is highly recommended.

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4) Don’t Show a Stinky House

girl holding a stinky dog

The smell is an important factor in determining whether a potential buyer will be hurrying for the exit, or for their checkbook. So tip number four for selling a home with pets is to deep clean your home and eliminate any pet odors. A deep cleaning goes beyond scrubbing countertops and vacuuming floors. It entails those hard-to-reach areas such as closet interiors, baseboards, grout cleaning, carpet cleaning, and more.

So it might be best to get a professional cleaning company for the job. Also, don’t use candles or stinky air fresheners to try to mask the smell, there are natural scents to attract buyers. Some people are highly sensitive to toxic chemicals, which could have them running right out the front door.

Animal waste such as bird feathers and litter is enough to trigger allergies even in the absence of the allergen itself. So take no chances, you don’t want potential buyers to leave with puffy eyes and running noses. If they do odds it’s almost a guarantee they won’t be interested in purchasing your home. Also, remember to inspect your pets and home for fleas no matter how clean your pets seem to be before you put the house up on the market.

Since we’re on the topic of animal waste, if you have puppies make sure to clean up immediately after they take care of business. If you have a doggy that likes to pee on the paver patio, hose it off immediately. Urine inside or out can be an overwhelming smell, so you’ll want to address it.

5) Get an Expert’s Opinion

cute dog at hospital

Tip number five for selling a home with pets is to consult with a professional. A veterinarian knows what’s good and what’s not for most pets. This should probably be one of the preliminary items on your to-do list before you make decisions regarding pet relocation.

Getting an expert’s input ensures you’ll not be inadvertently and adversely affecting your dog’s health, physical or otherwise, by whatever measures you have in mind. However, at the end of the day, you know your pet’s temperament and what’s going to be best for them, but it never hurts to get expert advice.

Final Thoughts

Selling a home with pets isn’t much different than selling a home with kids. It requires a certain amount of work, work that can go well beyond the ordinary but it’s something you can easily pull off nonetheless. If you are uncertain about how to get your home ready to sell don’t be afraid to ask your listing agent.

They should be able to give you honest advice. If your home smells they should be upfront and tell you, so you can address it prior to showings. They should also be able to tell you what changes need to be made to get your home sold. Things like furniture placement and other staging or repair advice.The last thing you want is to receive negative feedback from a prospective buyer. Feedback that you could have addressed prior to listing if you asked your agent. Mind you any top real estate agent will tell you exactly what you need to do to obtain the most amount of money for your home in the shortest amount of time.

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