Selling a home is stressful enough for home owners, but selling a home with pets can be even more stressful. In addition to the usual concerns home owners have, clients with pets also have to consider if they should move their animals out while the home is for sale, how much it will cost to repair any pet-related damage and if pet odor will deter potential buyers.
Unfortunately for pet owners, the truth is that pets can turn away potential buyers and even lower the perceived value of their home if they are not addressed prior to listing. However, when properly prepared, homes with pets can be cleaned and staged in a way that makes the existence of the pets almost undetectable.
We know that you probably consider your pet like a family member, and we do too! However when it comes time to sell your home, the following tips are critical to consider.
1. Eliminate Pet Odor
Although you might have become accustomed to it, pet odors can deter potential buyers. Our sense of smell has a powerful effect on our emotions and on our perception. The scent of pet odor in a house is sure to stick in a potential buyer’s mind, and this will likely cause them to deduct the cost of carpet replacement from their offer. Even worse, if a buyer walks in the home and smells a dirty cat litter box or soiled carpet, they might not even proceed with the tour. To eliminate pet odor and keep potential buyers moving through the home, consider the following:
If not replacing carpet, have it professionally steam cleaned. Don’t forget to also clean upholstered furniture and area rugs. Any surface that holds in pet odor should be cleaned, replaced or removed.
Be cautious when using air fresheners. You don’t want buyers to be blasted with the smell of artificial flowers that scream the seller is hiding an odor. Some fresh flowers can not only help with fragrance, but also add to the home www. Also consider air neutralizers and odor absorbing products. Rather than masking the smell, these items actually absorb odor and neutralize the air.
Consider placing an air purifier in the pet’s main living area to filter the air.
Replace air filters that might have trapped pet dander and odor.
2. Repair Pet-Related Damage to Home and Yard
As much as we love our pets, the truth is they cause extra wear and tear on the home, especially in the yard. Assess the home and consider recommending the owner repairs as much of the pet damage as possible before showing. Some areas to look at include:
Over-seed the yard or patch lawn areas to repair brown spots.
Fill in holes created by canine gardeners. Not only are they unsightly, they can be potentially dangerous if someone were to trip in it.
If doors and/or window screens have been damaged and scratched, replace them.
Clean pet hair from hard-to-reach places such as behind appliances and behind doors.
If wood or laminate flooring is scratched beyond repair, consider repairing the floor. This might be a large investment up front, but it can yield great results at sale.
3. Consider that potential buyers might be afraid of animals and vice versa. During the time your home is on the market, you may want to consider having your pet stay with someone else. If this isn’t a possibility, consider a crate during showings or taking your furry friend on a drive while potential buyers are in the home.
4. Speaking of stress, animals can experience anxiety from having a lot of strange foot traffic in their home. Potential buyers might be distracted by a stressed pet and a nervous barking. National pet stores sell items such as plugins that release stress calming pheromones. The plugins do not emit any scent and can last up to three months. The pheromones released are only detected by the animals and will not affect humans.