Pets may be family to a lot of us, but they also come with some added considerations. This is especially true when trying to sell your home. Selling with pets may take a bit more forethought, but it’s far from impossible. We’ve broken down the most important things you need to know about this process. Read on to learn what you can do to make your home appeal to buyers, Fido and all.
Repair any damage
Before you even think about selling your home, make sure it’s in tip-top condition. This means catching up on those home maintenance tasks that have been piling up. Every future seller should take the time to fix that leaky sink and squeaky hinge, but pet owners may have a few extra items on their list.
In particular, keep an eye out for obvious signs of pet damage. You know your pet and its habits the best, however, it’s common to need to buffer floors to remove signs of nail scratches and replace door jams to get rid of chew marks. When in doubt, hire a professional to repair or replace the item in need. Your goal should be to have the house looking as though it’s pet-free.
Talk to your agent
Once you’ve gotten your home in tip-top shape, it’s time to bring in your real estate agent. As you discuss putting your home on the market, be sure to mention you have pets in the home. Believe it or not, this is crucial information that will affect how your agent markets your home.
On the one hand, before even putting your home up for sale, your agent will act as a fresh set eyes. He or she will likely give you feedback about how potential buyers may view your home and how to put it in the best light. Some of this feedback will probably pertain to your pet. We suggest you take it in stride. After all, your agent has probably sold many houses where pets have lived. It’s worth listening to the advice.
On the other hand, there are logistics to consider. Once your agent is aware that you have pets, he or she will take steps to make showings a little easier on everyone. Whether it’s giving you a little more time to get out of the house or including a note in the listing so potential buyers will know pets will be present, everyone will appreciate the heads up.
Clean and deodorize
Cleaning is also an essential part of any seller’s pre-showing regimen. This goes double when you have pets in the house. Most pets come with hair and odors, which can be a huge turnoff to some potential buyers and trigger allergy attacks for others. In order to appeal to the biggest pool of buyers — and increase your chances for an offer — it’s crucial to keep your home as clean and free from odors as possible.
The first step is to deep clean. If you’ve had your pet for a while, you may need to go a little further than a standard scrubbing. At the very least, we recommend bringing in a company to deep clean carpets. That said, if any odors still linger, you may want to consider ripping up the flooring entirely and/or repainting to leave your home smelling fresh.
Keep in mind, this cleaning is an ongoing process. You need to keep your home clean to keep hair and odors at bay. Make giving your home a good scrub down part of your weekly schedule (at least until you receive an offer). Then, before each showing, do a quick staging check to see if any part of your home needs a touch-up.
Have a plan for showings
When it’s finally time to show the house to potential buyers, have a plan in place regarding how to handle your pet. Ideally, you take your pet with you when you leave the house. This removes any potential liability of your pet reacting poorly to seeing a stranger in the house or accidentally being let out of the house during the showing.
However, if for some reason that can’t happen, the next best thing is to crate them. Leave your pet — and all of their belongings — in a lesser-used area of the house, like the laundry room or garage. Then, be sure to tell your agent, so he or she can let the buyer’s agent know what to expect.
Have you sold a home as a pet owner recently? What advice can you share from your experience? Put it in the comments below.