If you are planning to sell your home, keep in mind that potential buyers might have quite a few concerns regarding your beloved animals. You will need to do a deep clean inside and out, and likely some repair work before your home can go on the market. Removing signs that you have a pet is simply smart practice. Why turn off a buyer at the get-go? It's those first impressions that are so important.
Some reasons why a homebuyer might not want to have your pets around:
Plenty of people are allergic to cats and dogs, so the residual fur and dander around the house could trigger a reaction such as coughing or sneezing even if your pets aren’t in the same room as potential buyers.
Although most of us love our pets like they are part of the family, an animal can become aggressive to a stranger in their territory. The potential buyer might be nervous around your pets if they’ve had a bad experience in the past, they’re inexperienced with animals in general, or if your pet seems hostile towards them.
Concern with potential house odour/damage:
If a buyer sees the pet toys and food dishes around the house, they may have a bias against the property, especially if there is a less-than-fresh smell in the air. Just knowing an animal is around might also worry the buyer that there are urine stains or damage somewhere in the house.
Solutions to these problems:
Here are a few tips for solving some of the issues that come from selling a home with pets.
Repair any damages:
Take a walk through your home, keeping an eye out for any spots that have been stained, chewed, scratched, or damaged in any way. It is very important that you repair everything before you begin showing your home. If potential buyers see damage in one spot, they may assume there are other issues elsewhere n the house.
Clean or Replace Floors/Carpets:
If you were considering swapping your flooring to laminate, now would be a good time for that, especially if the carpets are irreversibly stained from your pets. If replacing the flooring isn’t an option, hire a professional to steam-clean all carpeted spaces. This will at least remove most odours and minimize staining.
Relocate your pets temporarily:
As hard as it is to be apart from our fluffy friends, to ensure you get the highest price for your home, it’s best to relocate your pet while the house is on the market. Try to keep them out of the house until you have a firm accepted offer. There are a variety of options to keep your pets comfortable in a ‘home away from home’:
- Ask a friend or relative to take them in for the duration of the listing.
- Move out of the home prior to listing and take your pets with you.
- Board them at a kennel/pet hotel.
And if it isn’t possible to relocate them, try to ensure they are not present for any showings or open houses.
Hide anything related to your pets:
Putting away the food and water dishes, toys, crates, scratching posts, and any signs of your pets will give the home a cleaner appearance throughout.
Keep your home smelling fresh:
A strong odour is in fact one of the top reasons a buyer will pass on a home. Over time we grow used to the scent of our animals and become ‘blind’ to smells that potential buyers might be turned off by. Try to avoid Febreeze and chemical air fresheners, as buyers might have allergies to the strong deodorizers.
As mentioned, it’s a great idea to have all the carpets professionally cleaned to clear any pet odours that might be lingering there. As well as floor cleaning:
- Dispose of any items that have had urine on them.
- Do not have a litter box in the house (or have it in a place like a garage, or somewhere with windows that can be opened) **Keep it well-cleaned and scooped
- Feed your pet dry food instead of wet (to avoid lingering pet food smells)
- Put away any pet beds
- Keep the yard clear of any animal feces
- Throw away any old stuffed toys
- Try enzyme cleaners such as Simple Solution, Nature's Miracle, or call a professional ozone company.
- Set up a natural odour remover, such as an ultrasonic diffuser with essential oils (citrus oils work well to clear the air of unpleasant smells)
Have a friend or neighbour come in for a sniff to tell you if there are any strange scents left in the house after all your cleaning and preparations.
While all of these preparations can seems like a lot of work, your efforts to keep the house clean and presentable will pay off in the end. Buyers will be more confident in the quality of your home and that boosts the likelihood of a faster sale and higher sale price.
Until next time,