Home buyers who walk into homes that are listed on the market want the experience to be a pleasant one. They want to walk in to a home and feel welcome, and easily see themselves living in the place.
Certain distractions can easily quash this vision, including the presence of pets. While you might love the idea that your home is as much your pet’s as it is yours, most home buyers won’t feel the same way. Having unpleasant signs that a pet lives in the home could cost you the chance to sell your house.
Send Your Pooch or Feline Off to a Temporary Home
Nobody with a pet likes to hear this, but the best and easiest way to sell your home is to temporarily remove your furry friend while the property is on the market. This way, you don’t have to worry about constantly vacuuming up pet hair or cleaning cat litter.
Before you even list your home for sale and start taking photos of the interior, find a temporary home for your pet first. Maybe you’ve got a pet-friendly neighbor, or a family member who would be happy to babysit your pet in the meantime. This really can be the simplest way to avoid scaring away potential buyers.
Take the Pet Out of the Home During Showings
At the very least, make sure your pet isn’t home when a showing is taking place. This goes for you too – buyers tend to be more comfortable touring a home when the sellers aren’t present. If your cat tends to hiss at strangers or your dog is territorial and barks incessantly when he or she doesn’t recognize someone, it’s best that your pet isn’t home during showings.
Don’t expect real estate agents to handle your pets – they’re not professional trainers and shouldn’t be expected to risk handling an unruly animal when showing your home to buyers.
Get Rid of Any Signs of Pets in the Home
Whether you choose to send your pet off to another home for the time being, or have chosen to let your pet be, one thing is for sure: you’ve got to remove all signs of any animals in the house. Take the steps necessary to eliminate any remnants of pets, such as toys, litter, beds, and so forth.
Find a spot in the home where your pet can sleep and play that’s discreet and out of the way. This will allow home buyers to tour the place without having to be met with signs of pets every which way. You might even want to put away any photos of your pets too (which you should probably do with your own family photos to make the home appear more neutral).
Clean Up Pet Messes
No one wants to walk into a home and see an uncleaned litter box, a sofa full of dog or cat hair, or any remnants of “accidents” on the carpet or floor. Make sure you stay on top of these unsightly messes before any showings are scheduled.
Failure to keep up with cleaning up after your pets will surely turn any buyers off. And if you’ve got a dog, don’t gloss over your yard – the last thing you want is for a home buyer to accidentally step into something gross.
Eliminate Nasty Odors
Nothing is more unappealing and disgusting than the nasty smells of pets and pet excrement. Animals obviously have a certain scent to them, and when they spend so much time indoors, their smells can easily transfer onto the interior walls, window treatments, rugs, and furniture. Make sure that you vacuum as often as possible, and clean out litter boxes as frequently as you can. Deodorize with sprays and powders to mask any unpleasant odors.
Remove Any Stained or Damaged Furniture
If your pet is prone to scratching at the footings of your furniture, you might want to camouflage these pieces while your home is on the market. Damaged or stained furniture can quickly tip off buyers that there are pets in the home. Having pieces of furniture that are scuffed, scratched or stained just tells buyers that you don’t care enough about your furnishings and home to take care of them.
When you’re selling your home, keep in mind that the first couple of weeks that it’s on the market are critical. It’s during this time period that you want your house to be in tip-top condition and move-in ready. Don’t let any stains, odors or noise from pets turn your buyers off.
You can easily sell your home faster and for more money by staging your home to make it appear as inviting and attractive as possible. Get your real estate agent to give you suggestions to present your home in the best light possible so that your home doesn’t linger on the market for longer than necessary.