As Realtors, we are frequently asked by clients preparing their homes for sale, “does it matter that I have pets?”
The truth is that… it does. Whether it be cats, dogs, birds, rodents or reptiles, not everyone is a fan. Many potential buyers are not pet lovers. They may be nervous around animals, or in some cases, they may suffer from allergies that make their visit to the house uncomfortable.
For many reasons you may want to consider temporarily relocating your pets while your house is listed for sale. Animals can be unpredictable, even if well behaved.
Nervous visitors may make your pet nervous… Causing them to react in a way that is not normal for them. A nervous Buyer may cause your pet to bark, scratch, bite or run, putting both them and the Buyer at risk. Although this will likely make your house memorable, it will definitely not help sell it.
An agent will do their best to keep your pet contained, but I can tell you from past experience, it’s not always possible.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to coral a cat or catch a dog. As a Seller, you want the agent’s attention on selling your house and not on securing your pet. From a practical standpoint, it’s also easier to prepare a house for showings without pets and potential buyers will feel more comfortable in your home. If relocating your pet isn’t an option, there are many things you can do to help make your home less of a pet zone. Consider taking your pet out of the house for showings or if it’s absolutely necessary to keep them in the house, try crating.
Remove all your pet paraphernalia including beds, scratching posts, food dishes, toys and especially litter boxes. Litter boxes should be without exception, clean and discreetly tucked away. If possible use a litter box that has a lid that hides your pet’s activity.
Start well in advance of listing your house by preparing your cat for a new litter box location.
No buyer or agent wants to find an unwelcome surprise because your cat didn’t know where you hid the box.
Fabric and textiles in a house absorb pet odours.
Although you may be nose blind to the scents, someone entering the house for the first time may not be. Be very critical about pet scents.
Ask non household members for an honest opinion.
Prior to listing your home, wash carpets, upholstery and window coverings. Vacuum and wash floors regularly while you are on the market. Your home should be a fur-free zone. If possible, use dry food as opposed to canned food. It tends to have less of an odour.
Repair any damage your pet may have caused including scratches, chew marks and stains.
Finally, CLEAN your yard!!!
Before listing, during the listing and after the sale. No one wants to move into a new home with pet droppings in the yard. Think Karma.
Remember: many potential buyers avoid homes with pets. If you’re trying to sell your house, you don’t want to discourage showings.
By eliminating signs of your pets, you will make your home appealing to more buyers often resulting in a faster and more profitable sale. That’s a good thing for both you and your pet!