Unless you are the owner of Grumpy Cat or some other internet pet sensation, it’s better not to draw attention to your pets when you sell your home.
Your pets may be your best friends, but for potential buyers they can mean:
- Damage to the home (think chewed carpets and scratched doors)
- Hygiene issues
- Unwanted smells
So, what can you do to make sure your pets don’t harm your chances of getting a speedy sale at the right price?
Clean, clean, clean
This is a must for any home showing, but if there are pets in the home this is particularly important. Not only do you want to make a good first impression, but when so many people suffer from allergies these days, it’s also important to make sure everyone is as comfortable as possible while viewing your home.
Do your best to get rid of the hair. If you can’t remove your pet’s accessories during showings, make sure litter boxes and food bowls are clean.
Get rid of the smells
Whether you have cats, dogs, guinea pigs or iguanas in your home, chances are, they smell.
Depending on the type of pet, removing its odour could be as simple as cleaning out (and temporarily relocating) its living quarters, or doing a more thorough cleaning of the home.
Pet smells can linger in carpets, furnishings and, like smoke, even in the walls. To really tackle the odour you may have to professionally clean your carpets, steam clean furniture, freshen up the paint, replace air filters and clean out the ducts.
Not sure if you’ve done enough? Get a neighbour or friend who doesn’t own a pet to come over and give their opinion. It will be worth it to make sure a prospective buyer’s first thought when they walk into your home isn’t “wet dog.”
If a pet will be in the home right up to or during a showing, you could consider picking up an enzyme cleaner. These sprays will help eliminate odours; useful if your beloved pet has an accident in the living room an hour before a showing.
Remove stains, scuffs and scratches
If your pets have done some damage to door frames, cupboards, floors or other fixtures, it’s worth your while to get those things fixed before your first viewing. A quick coat of paint might be all that’s needed.
If they’ve made a less-than desirable impression on your furniture and you’re not ready to replace it, try to remove it from view or position it at an angle that disguises the worst of the damage.
Hide the evidence
Ideally, find another place for your pet to stay during showings. If that isn’t possible, put them in a carrier or other safe place to protect your visitors and the pet. Frightened pets have been known to attempt getaways through open doors when the house is being viewed by strangers.
Store away all of your pet’s toys and furniture. Leaving reminders that this home is also your pet’s home may bring to mind some of those negative feelings mentioned above, even if your house is clean and odour-free.