You love your dogs and cats but now that it’s time to sell your home, you’re worried about how you will manage showings and other scenarios that go along with a home sale. You’re also concerned about the wellbeing of your pet and how they will react to the hordes of people coming through your house to determine whether it’s the one for them. And then there are the tell-tale signs that you own a pet. How do you handle those?
Selling with pets doesn’t have to be stressful, however. There are a number of things you can do in advance to make your pet-friendly home buyer-friendly.
Following these five tips will help you on your way to a quicker sale, resulting in a price that makes everyone happy.
Take Stock of Necessary Repairs
Face it! Even if your dog or cat is “well-behaved”, chances are he or she has caused some damage to your home. Carpets and hardwood flooring are often the victims of animal-related damage as are doors, walls, fences, and – of course – areas of your yard or lawn.
So, before a realtor even steps foot in your door to assess your home and offer a potential sale price, take the initiative to make the necessary repairs to rid your home of any damage caused by your pet. You’ll likely need to invest some money to make these problems go away, but it will be worth it in the long run as your home will show better and you may just re-coop those dollars.
Wipe out Stains and Odors
Statistics from a number of surveys show that one of the top reasons someone “passes” on a home is because of >pet odors. This is especially true for buyers who don’t own pets and are super sensitive to the smells they encounter when they enter a house where pets do indeed live.
This all means that ridding your home of animal-related smells is super important and may take some deep cleaning or even work by a professional cleaning company that specializes in ridding your carpets or flooring of pet odors and stains. Again, it’s worth the expenditure.
Pick Up the Poop
No one likes exploring a backyard that includes piles of poop. Pick up any messes before each showing or – better yet – after each mess occurs. This way, you’re staying ahead of the game.
Also, if your dog has free reign of your yard, be sure to fix any patches (bare spots, etc.) that may have suffered due to your dog’s bathroom habits.
Consider Relocating Your Pets
While this may be especially hard for you and your family, moving a pet elsewhere while your home is for sale is often a good idea, especially if you have rambunctious pets or if your pets are not good with strangers.
Relocating your pets gives you the opportunity to do the sprucing up we’ve mentioned earlier and will ensure that you won’t need to make any further repairs.
But, if that’s not possible…
Remove Your Pets During Showings
Not everyone thinks your pets are cute and some buyers will be intimidated by them, choosing to bypass your home rather than deal with your doggies.
Even if a buyer is pet-friendly, there’s no guarantee – as we said – that your pet will feel the same way about the buyer. This is especially important when there are small children in the picture. Little ones can be curious about animals and just might make a move that frightens your pet, resulting in a bite or attack. That’s a situation you want to avoid at all costs as you will likely be liable for the injuries caused by your pet while it is on your property.
But a showing with your pets in the house not only puts buyers in jeopardy but also puts those beloved furry friends in danger. For example, they may run out when the door is opened, and that escape could result in an accident with a car or any number of other heartbreaking scenarios. Your pet is safer when located elsewhere during showings.
That said, you need to have a Plan A and B in place (and maybe even C) when a showing needs to happen without a lot of notice. While you’re certainly not obligated to accommodate last-minute buyers who simply ride by and want to see your house, you should certainly make plans with someone who can remove your pet with a reasonable amount of notice if you can’t do it yourself.
Yes, it takes work to get your pet-friendly home ready for buyers, but the time and money invested will certainly pay off. If you have any further questions about making your home buyer-ready, talk to your realtor.