We love our pets! Many people consider them furry, feathered, or finned family members. They live with us and are a huge part of our lives. However, selling a home that pets have lived in can become complicated. Pets leave a definite presence in the form of odors, damage, and territorial behaviors. Even other people with pets might not appreciate your pets, and this can bring down the selling price of your home.
There are ways to get around this and make the sale comfortable for both the pets and the prospective buyers. Here are 7 things you can do to help sell a home with pets.
Schedule Viewings Strategically
One way you can reduce your pets’ presence when showing your home is to schedule your showings in a way that gives you time to get them out of the house. You can leave your pet with friends, neighbors, and family living close by, or perhaps you can board them in a kennel. Scheduling viewings in blocks can reduce any costs or inconvenience associated with moving your pets. With the pets out of the house, you can also clean up toys, litter boxes, cages, and any mess your pets might have left in the yard.
Your Pets Leave a Mark
Many pets leave behind odors you may be desensitized to, such as “dog” or “cat” smell. Even aquarium and tank animals, like fish, turtles or lizards, leave behind distinctive odors. Paws might do damage to hardwood, linoleum, or tile floors, and even walls and staircases might have scratches. Outdoors, pets might have dug holes or left waste in the yard. A great way to test for this is to have a friend or family member who doesn’t have any pets come over and give your home a “sniff test,” pointing out any signs your pet may leave.
Good communication with your agent is vital to any home sale, but selling a home with pets has special necessities. Your real estate agent should be informed about everything regarding your pets, especially pets that roam the house. They should be told what pets you have and what they look like – pictures can help greatly. They should also be warned of any hazards, such as cats that like to escape or dogs that may be territorial. If your pets need to be removed from the home before showings, you need an agent who is going to contact you with enough lead time to have things ready.
Professional Deep Clean
Most of us can clean a home but do not have the experience necessary to give it a truly deep clean. There are a lot of reasons to hire professionals if you are trying to sell a home with pets. Professionals can eliminate odors and hair or dander that your pets leave behind in carpets, floors, and walls. Outdoor pets may do damage to yards as well as leave waste outside, which both looks and smells really bad. Pests associated with pets, such as fleas and mites, need to be exterminated before you can even show the house.
Check Your Vents
If you have pets, your home ventilation system has almost certainly collected dander and animal hair. Central air works by circulating air through the home. Dust and hair get caught in the filtration system, and pet owners know these filters need to be replaced more often than in homes without pets. However, when selling your home, changing the filter on your ventilation system is only the beginning. Cleaning the whole thing is recommended to ensure there is nothing left behind.
Check Your Insurance
Every homeowner with pets should have an insurance policy in case the pets injury visitors or damage their property. Especially if you are allowing showings while your pets are in the home, it is important to check your insurance policy to make sure you are covered in case of accidents involving your pets. Dogs might bite, cats might scratch, residual dander could set off allergies, and any number of other unexpected calamities could happen. That’s why your home is insured to begin with, and familiarizing yourself with your policy when you sell your home is solid advice even if you move your pets out before you even show it to buyers.
Move Them Out
The most surefire way to reduce the impact of your pets on your selling price is to move them out ahead of time. This gives you time to do everything else before you even show visitors. Many pet owners don’t like this option, but there are plenty of ways both pets and their owners can get through the sale. Moving in advance is one way, but if you can’t afford that, you can send them to stay with a friend or family member until the home is sold.
Having pets living with you doesn’t mean you won’t sell your home or that you have to accept a lowball offer. You can enjoy your pets and still get top dollar for your home if you follow the tips above. Pet owners do a lot of things differently from people who don’t have pets, and selling a home is another example of how we work to incorporate our pets into our lives.