Tips to Make Your Home Feel Pet-free to Buyers

Verani Realty

Couple sitting on couch with dogsYou love your pet – after all, he or she is a member of your family. But if you are selling your home, you should know that some people won’t love encountering your pet (or any of their signature messes!) during a showing.

Even when buyers love animals, they typically want a home that shows no signs of being “broken in” by your furry friend. In fact, some buyers will avoid purchasing homes that have pets – and this happens for several reasons.

They may take notice of the little tell-tale signs your pet leaves behind. Extra wear and tear on the home caused by dirty paws, pet stains on the carpet, and scratched hardwood floors or doors from your pet’s nails leave a bad first impression. Not to mention that sometimes odors linger even after you clean the house, and you might not notice it anymore.

You may have become accustomed to all the signs that you are a pet owner, but buyers will not miss these things while viewing your home. Getting ready to show your home to potential buyers means making the house clean, stain-free and basically a fresh, blank slate. Here are some tips to make that happen:

  • Clean like crazy: Buyers need to picture their lives and possessions in this house. Any pet odors that linger can be a huge turn off to many potential buyers. They may fear that the odors are buried in the carpeting, or maybe everything is soiled or unclean. Clean your house (especially your floors) and make certain there are no pet droppings in the back yard, especially near walking paths.

  • Neutralize all odors: Clean litter boxes, spray some Febreze, and consider putting a deodorizer in each room if odors seem to remain. Take it easy on any perfume-like scents – the goal is to have a house that simply smells clean.

  • Get rid of pet hair: Use a sticky roller on furniture to get the job done quickly.

  • Repair any damage: This includes walls, doors and flooring that have any signs of pet damage. Consider refinishing scratched up hardwood flooring. Repaint and clean up any dirt or scratches on doors and door frames. Deep clean carpets to remove any obvious stains, but if that does not work, replacement is a good idea.

  • Give your real estate agent directions about handling pets: It is a great idea to take pets with you when you leave and buyers are scheduled for a showing, but this may not always be possible – for example, if the showing will be while you are at work. Your real estate agent needs directions to follow, like don’t let the cat escape out the door, or even if your pet is friendly, keep them away from small children. Who knows how your dog will react when you are not home and a group of strangers suddenly walks in. 

The idea is to make your buyers feel like this could be their home, and looking pet-free is sometimes as important as being clutter-free. With a bit of cleaning and a few small repairs, your house can impress buyers with a fresh, clean first impression.

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