Did you know that having a pet might make it harder to sell your house? Crazy right! For us pet lovers all we see is our cute, loving, snuggly family members. Before you plan the dog and pony show, (if you are thinking about selling your house, or already have it on the real estate market), don’t forget to have a plan for your house to look and smell like no pets are living in the house. Also, for the safety of your pet and the potential buyers, make sure you have a plan for your pets to be out of site during showings.
It is a lot of work to have your house looking in tip top shape every day. Each morning make sure you take the time to get it “show” ready. I suggest that you require a notice to show your house so you have the time to do any quick touch-ups of pet hair, pick up all pet toys/bowls and store away, and figure out your plan for your Fido and Tabby.
Figure Out A Plan!
Plan in advance what you will do with your pet as you show your house. Some suggestions are:
- Take them for a walk. Good for the dog and good for you too! If you cannot walk them, consider asking a close neighbor or hire a professional dog walker.
- Take them for a drive.
- Take them to get groomed.
- Take them to the dog park. Make sure you do not forget to bring water as they will be thirsty after all that activity.
- Take them to your local pet store. While you are there, buy them a new toy!
- Take them over to see friends or relatives. Better yet, maybe your pet would like to be dropped off and stay for a while to enjoy the company of your family or friends.
- Take them to doggy day-care.
- Arrange for a friend, family member or service to care for them if the showing happens while you are at work and if your job isn’t flexible.
If can be very stressful and inconvenient to plan any of the above. It is not unheard of to consider a temporary relocation by renting a furnished apartment or house month to month while you show your house. Remember, you want to keep your house furnished as it is for sale since it will sell quicker and for a higher price. You could even consider an extended stay hotel that takes pets. If none of that is in the budget, then just use one of the suggestions above or come up with your own good plan for each time your house will be shown.
Down To The Bone -
Before you even put your house on the market, whether you have pets or not, you should work like a dog and fix up any scratches on floors, especially wood floors, clean carpets, and paint any wall areas that are scratched up. If you have a heavy pet smell, you should consider new paint on all the walls and replacing all carpeting. I even suggest that you hire a professional to clean your ductwork. If you’re not going to paint, clean up the slobber on all the walls and doors and get the Windex out and wash all your windows. During this time, your vacuum is your best friend. Vacuum at least once a day maybe twice a day if you have a pet that sheds. Don’t forget about vacuuming any furniture even if your pet does not lay on them. Pet hair flies everywhere. Most pet owners do not even realize that they have a pet odor inside their house and need to consider doing something about it. Believe me, no one is more turned off than when they walk in your house and there is a heavy pet smell. In fact, did you know that a strong odor is one of the top reasons a buyer will pass on a home? Taking the extra time and effort will pay off in the long run with good showings and higher offers.
Pet Paraphernalia – Out Of Sight!
As buyers are walking through your house, they will try and envision themselves in the space. Don’t forget to store away all the pet paraphernalia you have around your house. I bet you think you don’t have much. Store away…pet beds/pillows/blankets, toys, extra leashes, collars, pet jackets/clothes. If you have lots of framed photos of your pet, consider reducing down to just a few and clean off all the pictures on the refrigerator (same with kids’ pics for that matter).
Clean Up The Waste -
Fix Up The Yard!
You would think that everyone would remember to do this, but not always. Remember, pets poop every day so don’t forget to take a last look around the outside of your property before you leave for the day. If you have a cat, or two, clean the litter box daily! Use a cat litter with air fresheners to control the odor. Keep the litter box out of sight during showings. If your pet has damaged anything in the yard, like the grass or a fence, make sure you take the time to repair so it is appealing to buyers.
The bottom line is, you want to be as presentable as possible. Lots of buyers will be pet friendly, but there is always a chance that they are not. With a little bit of planning you will be a lucky dog and sell your house quickly!