As a fellow pet owner, I know how much our pets feel like members of the family. Unfortunately, home buyers do not feel your attachment and may be turned off to your home because of your furry friends. If you want to get top dollar for your home, you’ll need to pay attention to how you handle your pet situation.
Home buyers may feel nervous or even downright fear around your pets, no matter how irrational you may feel it is. You know your fur babies well, but they are unpredictable to a home buyer. Even if they have pets of their own, yours may make them feel uncomfortable.
What is the solution? As extreme as it may sound, the ultimate solution is to relocate your pets while your home is on the market. Perhaps a friend or relative is willing to let your fur babies live with them temporarily. You could board them at a kennel or take them to work with you every day.
If the idea of removing them from the home until it’s sold is too much for you to stomach, then you should take measures to minimize the objections and nuisances as much as possible.
CAT LITTER & DOGGY PADS
Keep these items out of sight. When a home buyer opens the front door and is greeted with the smell of a stinky cat litter box, it can be an immediate turnoff. And do not put it in a bedroom closet or a garage. This does nothing to hide the smell.
CARPET & FLOOR STAINS
Get your floors professionally cleaned and make sure no stains remain. If the stains won’t budge, you should seriously consider replacing the floor covering.
Cat urine is, by far, the most offensive pet smell. Since you live in the home all the time, have a neighbor do you a favor and do a whiff test. Air fresheners should be avoided since people with allergies will have a reaction. Instead, find an enzyme cleaner or hire a professional ozone company.
MAKE THEM DISAPPEAR
Don’t advertise to home buyers that you have a pet. Remove all signs of them before a showing by putting away all their paraphernalia, including food and water dishes. Put away toys, photos of your four-legged babies, and vacuum every single day. Or twice a day!
If you absolutely must leave your pet at home during a showing, do not put them in the backyard or the garage. It’s not fair to your pets and it doesn’t allow home buyers to get a good look at those areas. Instead, place them in a carrier with a note warning buyers and realtors not to disturb them.
Our pets may hold a place in our hearts as a part of the family, but they will not benefit your efforts to show and sell your home. It certainly takes more effort to make your home desirable to home buyers, but you’ll thank yourself in the end (and so will your realtor)!